For the second straight fight, at Bellator 284 on Friday, DeAnna Bennett defeated Justine Kish.
In an odd bit of matchmaking, it was back-to-back fights for Bennett against Kish, although Kish herself took a fight in between against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. And as she did in the pair’s first fight, Bennett (13-7-1) walked away with a unanimous decision win.
Not that she was entirely satisfied with her showing.
“Oh no. Not at all. The fact that it was the 29-28s, and I didn’t get that finish, it’s not the performance that I’m happy with at all,” Bennett told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “There’s a lot of things that I didn’t do, and I don’t want to look at my coaches right now, the little mean one mean mugging me, because I didn’t do necessarily what he told me to, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to beat me with a pad later.”
“It obviously feels good to get that win, but it’s not the performance that I want and it’s not indicative of how I am as a fighter,” she continued. “So I am down on myself. A couple shots of Tequila should fix my mood, but I’ll be back in the gym on Monday, working to make the next one better.”
Kish missed weight for the bout, but it’s not something that particularly bothered Bennett. “Yesterday at the weigh-ins we talked about that, and I understand. I don’t believe that she did it maliciously; I don’t know the circumstances behind that but she was apologetic for it, so I’m not going to hold that against her at all.”
After the fight, Bennett made a comment about always being yelled at. So is that trolls on the internet, or coaches trying to motivate her? All of the above, she told Cageside Press.
“Just all of the above. Just because I’m a weird, awkward human that does a lot of ridiculous things. So I think the number one thing that people say to me is ‘come on DeAnna, what’s wrong with you? Pull your head out of your ass, what are you doing? Come on, snap into it!’ It’s just how I live my life,” she explained. “My coach got really mad because I said ‘fisting Friday’ and so if you saw his face, he’s like ‘are you kidding me, did you really just say that?!?’ And yeah I just said it again. They’re really mad, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to leave me behind today.”
Bennett was clearly joking, but at the same time became emotional when discussing what her team meant to her, especially after her dog passed away during fight camp.
“It means the world to me that they let me be part of the team. It’s such a special team there in Philly, and I’m just a little weirdo, I don’t know why I’m crying, I’m sorry. But every day I go to the gym and I’m just so incredibly happy to be there and with the fact that they put up with me and to be part of their team. And so I wanted this win because I didn’t want to let them down. They had such a built team, family, and the fact that they welcomed me in, you have no idea how much it means to me.”
Watch the full Bellator 284 post-fight press scrum with DeAnna Bennet above.