“To be honest, it did not play out the way I thought it was going to play out,” Mark Lemminger said following his Bellator 242 fight with Jake Smith.
The welterweight pair threw down on the preliminary card of Bellator’s return to action on Friday. Originally lined up to face Logan Storley, Lemminger instead put replacement Smith away in the second round, with some heavy ground n’ pound.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight, Lemminger (11-1) reflected on the wild journey that’s got him to this point in his career. Including several opponents dropping out (Carlos Pedersoli and Ion Pascu, the latter due to the pandemic), and multiple training camps.
“I was training my whole training camp for a different opponent. Opponent switch, last minute. Which, I’ve seen that before. But I envisioned the fight going differently — but I adapted,” explained Lemminger. He was of the belief that “I’d get my hands on him a little better than I did in that first round. I don’t know if it was jitters, maybe it was the seven month layoff that I’ve had, I don’t know what it was.”
Still, Lemminger felt comfortable, and dug the lack of an audience. “I was more relaxed.”
Whether there will be a second fight for Lemminger in the Bellator cage remains to be seen. Friday’s bout was a one-off deal. But if it were up to him, it’s likely he’d be back. “I mean based off of my first fight, I’m nothing but happy,” he said, noting that he has at least one teammate signed with the promotion as well.
“I’m digging this,” he added.
Watch the full Bellator 242 post-fight press scrum with Mark Lemminger above.