Whether It’s a Quick Finish or War, Dylan Mantello Predicts Exciting Fight at DWCS

Sporting the nickname “The Quiet Man,” lightweight Dylan Mantello has been anything but thus far in his professional fighting career.

Mantello (7-2) has finished six of his seven wins, and sits on a three-fight win streak heading into Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday night.

The 30-year old is also training with some of the best at Serra-Longo MMA, with the likes of Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili, not to mention Al Iaquinta, who will be in Mantello’s corner for his Contender Series fight. The pedigree of those teammates has helped Mantello keep his eye on the prize so to speak.

“When you join Serra-Longo, they have the posters up on the wall, the banners of all the guys that make it to the UFC. And not to say that anybody that doesn’t make it to the UFC is not a tough and talented fighter, but it’s just a standard of excellence at our team,” Mantello told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “If you’re going to commit yourself to the sport and you’re going to fight professionally, the goal is the UFC. It’s the highest promotion in the world, and that’s kind of where you’re going. And once you’re in the UFC, that’s just a foot in the door. We also breed champions too.”

In other words, the process never stops. Or, as Mantello put it, “it’s kind of like, you just climb a mountain, and you get to the top of that mountain, there’s always another mountain. You have to enjoy the process too, you can’t just look at where you want to be. So I’m enjoying the process, I love training, I love working with my coaches. I love helping some of the younger guys too. I’m a martial artist through and through. I love this sport, I love what it’s done for me personally, I love that it can help younger people as well.”

Mantello has been paired up with Brazilian Kaynan Kruschewsky on Week 7 of Dana White’s Contender Series, a Jungle Fight champion with a 14-1 record.

“He’s a tough dude for sure. He’s been in some tough fights,” allowed Mantello. “Not fighting in the U.S., I’m not exactly sure of the caliber of most of his fights. I’ve seen some tough fights that he’s been in where he had to prove himself, and he did. So I am certainly not taking him lightly whatsoever.”

While offering some praise for Kruschewsky, Mantello doesn’t believe the pair are on the same level. “I think I’m on a new level right now, and I don’t think he has what it takes to beat me. But he’ll probably have a bright future. I think that he’s coming to win, I’m coming to win. But when we meet out there in Vegas, in the desert, I’m going to be the one getting my hand raised, I’m going to be the one signing that contract.”

The Contender Series being what it is, Mantello will also be looking for the finish come Tuesday. He struggles, for one, to understand fighters who go on the show then wrestle against the cage, as that path isn’t likely to land a UFC contract.

“I see some opportunities for me to knock him out for sure with the right hand, or some other options that I have. He’s aggressive, so that could work against him.” Mantello likes the style that his opponent brings, with a traditional Muay Thai background. “I don’t think he’s fought anybody my size though, and my experience, the caliber of guys that I train with. I see me finishing him for sure, whether it has to be that I have to push a pace that he can’t handle and just break him and finish him there, [or] it could be a war. Either way, it’s going to be an exciting fight. Whether it’s a quick finish for me or it’s a war, and I’ve got to dig deep like I’ve done several times before, doesn’t matter. It’s going to be an exciting fight.”

Watch our full interview with Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 7 lightweight Dylan Mantello above.