“Coming back, it meant a lot to me,” Veta Arteaga said of her return to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on Friday night.
Arteaga had expected to fight in the venue last year, against Desiree Yanez. The scrap with “Dirty Dez” was itself scrapped, however, when Arteaga tested positive for COVID-19. That left her feeling like she owed herself, and the fans, a fight. “I felt as if I had unfinished business.”
With the fight finally going down at Bellator 257, Arteaga wound up in a scrappy contest, taking home a majority decision. The single score ruling the fight a draw was mainly due to a point deduction, but either way, Yanez proved to be a game adversary.
“I knew she was going to be a tough opponent when I signed the contract. I knew that I could do some damage, but she’s tough,” said Arteaga following the bout.
On her performance, the victorious flyweight said that “there’s certain things that I want to improve on, but overall, I feel great.” The time away, however, did throw her for a loop. “Before walking out, I’m like ‘I haven’t fought in over a year.’ So I forgot these feelings of excitement, and knowing I’m going to throw some punches, and they’re going to throw some punches at me.”
Arteaga admitted that she felt a little weird at first. “I started to get my groove more in the second round. I started off a little bit slower, usually I’m known as a fast starter. I was not so happy with my performance, I feel I could’ve have done better with pushing the gas earlier.”
Watch the full Bellator 257 post-fight press conference with Veta Arteaga above.