It’s rare that an 0-0 fighter gets scooped up by a major mixed martial arts promotion, but that was the case with Jaylon Bates and Bellator MMA.
The talented amateur signed with the company last year, and made his debut last November, earning a unanimous decision over fellow 0-0 fighter Joe Supino. Now, Bates returns at Bellator 256, taking on the 2-1 Jeffrey Glossner (who, as an aside, missed weight for the fight). During this week’s media day, we asked Bates to reflect on his debut, and what he took away from the experience.
“My whole takeaway was, there’s a lot of improvements to be made,” replied Bates. “I was impressed that I got out there and got the win, improved to 1-0 as a professional. But the fact that I didn’t get the finish, it weighed a lot on my mind.”
Asked specifically about what he felt he needed to work on after his debut, Bates said it was “Position, position, position. When you’re in this game, position wins the game. So if I’m in the right position at the right time, I can have the right tool for the right job.”
As to the difference between his amateur career and his pro fights, “maybe the pressure, maybe the cameras being there, you being directed more, and it being more professional,” said Bates. “But other than that, once that cage closes, it’s all the same.”
Opponent Glossner has plenty of power, and many are looking to the match-up as a power vs. technique affair. On that front, “the whole game is to hit and not get hit,” espoused Bates. “If we’re going to go out there and play a tough-guy pissing contest — that’s not what we’re playing here.”
Watch the full Bellator 256 virtual media day scrum with Jaylon Bates above. The event takes place Friday, April 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.