Bellator 298’s Justine Kish Says She Will Be MMA Champion, Doesn’t Care What It Takes

Sioux Falls, SD — For Bellator 298’s Justine Kish, the feeling after her win against Diana Avsaragova on Friday was one of relief.

“I feel relieved. I love competing. I’ve been thinking about this day a lot,” flyweight Kish told media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the Sanford Pentagon, after notching a unanimous decision win. The victory improved her record under the Bellator banner to 2-2.

She credited her team with keeping her relaxed ahead of, and during, the fight. “They know I was just stressed about getting too hyper in there. They did an amazing job keeping me calm,” said Kish. “Really, I knew staying calm and keeping my head clear would win this for me. From what we’d seen and what we collected from her past fights, everyone was just very hyper and just rushed right in to fight her. And I know that’s what she waits for, and I’m not going to give her that. I wanted to set it up.”

Kish used feints and fakes to try and lure Avsaragova in, “but she didn’t really bite much. She was waiting for me to go forward, she was waiting for me to pressure forward, so we were both kind of playing that game. I knew that if I had a better output, I would get her discouraged and then maybe make her sloppy. The game plan worked great.”

Kish underwent her fifth knee surgery ahead of Bellator 298, but had the mentality of just getting back in there and getting back to work no matter what. “Because I have goals. I have goals, I’ve got dreams, I’ve got things I want to accomplish. And I don’t care what it takes for me to get there, I don’t care what kind of obstacles I face. I’m going to improve as a person, I’m going to improve one way or another if I take things head on.”

“It’s a tough road, but man, the things that happen in my life on these tough roads, it’s incredible, it’s beautiful. I really appreciate the journey and the people that are in my life. Without the injury, I probably wouldn’t have come across certain people, I probably wouldn’t have taken certain paths. So I appreciate everything, the ups, the downs. The picture is still clear for me. I see myself being an MMA world champion. I don’t care what it takes, I’m going to get there.”

Watch the full Bellator 298 post-fight press conference with Justine Kish above.