San Jose, CA — Tyrell Fortune is on his third opponent for Bellator 277 this Friday. Something the heavyweight fighter wasn’t fully aware of during Wednesday’s media day ahead of the event.
“To be honest, I didn’t know how many people they [went] through. I just say yes to whoever. So it really don’t matter to me,” Fortune (11-2) told Cageside Press in regards to the revolving door of opponents he’s been scheduled against for the show in San Jose. “I don’t have, my management doesn’t really— I just say yes. Opponents don’t really matter, I focus on me getting ready for the fight, and then once that opponent does get locked in, then I do start reviewing more of their work and their previous fights and things like that. But until like the last three weeks of camp, I really don’t pay attention to it. That’s not really my concern.”
Opponent number three would be Rakim Cleveland, a former PFL heavyweight. Prior to that, there were Steve Mowry and Tim Johnson. The Johnson fight, which was at one point formally announced by the promotion, wasn’t one Fortune was even aware of.
“See I never even got Tim Johnson’s name. The only person I knew I was supposed to fight was Steve Mowry, and then it fell out,” Fortune revealed. “So I didn’t even know Tim Johnson was an option. Like I said, I tell my management, I say yes. Whoever Bellator asks me to fight, it’s a yes, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Johnson, mind you, would have been a welcome fight for Fortune, who admits that while he focuses on what’s in front of him, “Bellator knows I’ve been very vocal about me getting my rematches. They know that’s the fights that I want. But at the same time still, that’s not my job. I’m not the matchmaker, I’m the fighter. I just try to worry about my job, and I gotta win. Once you win, that pretty much handles all your problems.”
Fortune is appearing on a stacked card on Friday at Bellator 277 — a card rife with home-grown success stories. A.J. McKee headlines, in a rematch with Patricio Pitbull. Aaron Pico is also featured on the card. And then there’s Fortune himself.
On his own development, Fortune said that he’s “really happy” with the position he’s in right now — but added “Honestly I still feel really green. Every camp I go back, I feel like I’m learning more and more. I try to get more exposure to professional, high level boxers and kickboxers and jiu jitsu guys. I feel like my game is constantly growing. I feel like I’m still in my rookie season; MMA, we don’t really have a season, it’s all year round, but five years in with 13 fights, I still feel like I’m pretty much a rookie, maybe moving into my sophomore year a little bit.”
“My last fight was the first fight where I was able to throw caution to the wind. I was like ‘okay, I’m probably down, second round, who cares what happens?’ And I was able to put that behind my head and step into the danger zone and throw hands,” Fortune continued. “For me to feel that comfort with danger present was very good for me, it was very comfortable, and I used that my whole camp. My whole camp, I felt way better in the pocket and actually looking for targets and being able to see things better. So for me its just trying to grow and trying to develop every little skill I can to bring into the cage.”
As for the fight on Friday, Fortone expects to put on a dominant performance. “Rakim’s plan is to wrestle me, I think I’m going to outclass him easily.”
Watch the full Bellator 277 media day appearance with Tyrell Fortune above. The event is set to take place this Friday, April 15, 2022 at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA.