Jon Jones became the UFC light heavyweight champion at just 23 years old (23 years, 242 days to be exact). Setting the bar for young fighters looking to claim gold among the ranks of the major MMA promotions. It’s that record that Nortbert Novenyi Jr. has his eye on coming off another successful performance, this one at Bellator 247 on Thursday.
The London Shootfighters middleweight improved to 5-0 at the event in Milan, Italy, thanks to a triangle submission of Laïd Zerhouni. During a post-fight media scrum, Novenyi Jr. was asked about his title aspirations. And he clearly has the — although he isn’t looking to rush things.
“I need to know my place a little bit,” the Hungarian fighter admitted. “Don’t get me wrong, I feel like if I’m myself, I can beat the top guys as well. I know I’m at that level. But there’s no point in rushing it.”
“Next week I’m 21. I’ve still got a lot of time left,” he pointed out. “I still want to be a super young champion, maybe 23? Beat Jon Jones record, that would be nice.”
Plenty of young fighters will admit to feeling some nerves heading into a fight. Not Novenyi Jr. however. Maybe it’s in the pedigree — his father, after all, was an Olympic wrestling champion.
“Not really,” said Novenyi Jr., asked about feeling pressure ahead of the fight “I just want to win.”
For one simple reason above all else: “I don’t like losing. Hate it.”
Watch the full Bellator 247 post-fight press scrum with Norbert Novenyi Jr. above.