Mandel Nallo has admittedly had a hard time making it to the cage in recent years, but the Bellator lightweight will be in action Saturday at Bellator 274.
Nallo (8-1, 1NC) has fought just once a year, every year, since 2014, when he managed to fight twice. Getting a fight in early in 2022 will hopefully open the door to some more activity, though the Canadian told Cageside Press during this week’s media day that you can’t think too much about what you can’t control.
“It’s always nice to have it feel like it’s actually going to happen. Even when you sign the fight deal five weeks out or six weeks out, you’re like ‘ehhh this might not happen,'” Nallo acknowledged. “When it’s actually becoming a reality, it’s very nice.”
Despite the repeated cancellations — Nallo saw two fights, against Keoni Diggs and Dan Moret, fall through last year, “you can’t really think about all the stuff you don’t really have much control over,” he added. “I said it earlier, Jon Jones became a world champion at 22, and Glover Teixeira became a world champion at 41. Everybody’s MMA journey is different, and you’ve just got to keep going and enjoying yourself along the way.”
This next stop in Nallo’s own MMA journey pits him against Nick Browne, a former LFA lightweight champion who made his debut for Bellator MMA last year.
“I think it’s good for me,” Nallo said of the match-up. “He’s super-good, he’s well-rounded, he’s been in the game a long time, but I think I’m just a little bit better anywhere. But yeah, I think he’s tough. It’s a tough fight.”
Fighting out of TriStar and representing Canada, Nallo also knows that the country is in the news like never before of late, thanks to the ongoing “Trucker Convoy” protests against COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m not going to say anything too crazy, but it’s definitely an interesting time in Canada. Especially Eastern Canada,” Nallo noted with a laugh. “That’s all I’ll say.”
Watch the full Bellator 274 media scrum with Mandel Nallo above. The event takes place this Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. More coverage from Thursday’s media day can be found below.