#mma @cassbellmma: Bellator’s ReturnTweet
Bellator makes it’s triumphant return to action this Friday. Cass Bell is one of the lucky few to fight on Bellator’s return. He took time to speak with us again before the fight. If you missed our last interview with him, check it out below!
Check out the full podcast with Cass Bell as well as previous episodes featuring the bantamweight contender.
Cass Bell returning to action
As we’ve spoken about with many other fighters, COVID-19 really changed plans and career trajectories for fighters around the globe. Now, this Friday, Bellator returns. Bell is ready to get back to work and do what he does best.
“I’m so happy right now that I get a fight on the very first card. I know there’s like so many fighters trying to get on this card. And, you know, to be the first one, it’s awesome.”
Bell takes on Raufeon Stots who has a 13-1 record. He has five finishes on his record by both submission and knockout. This is the toughest and most experienced fighter Bell has faced in his short career. Going into his sixth career fight, Bell’s opponents have combined for 17 total fights until Stots. He feels ready to take the next step up in competition. “I’m stoked. I get a step up to the next step of competition. I’m so happy,” says Bell.
“We pretty much opened up right when we got the call like two three days later. We were able to open the gym open up. So we started to train hard and we’re putting 100% of our time back into it as much as we could with the COVID and all that stuff. It’s definitely been hard with the training partners and everything.”
Training under COVID-19
As mentioned above, the virus changed everything. Getting back to action for Cass Bell has been anything but routine. It has thrown a wrench in the plan of Bell and his camp.
“The biggest thing is training with people. Usually I’m training with one of my teammates and I get different looks. I’ve been drilling a lot more on my dummy, Maddox, and drilling more and more which is a good thing too. But I like the real deal and I like chatting with my teammates and stuff. The crazy part is we have to wear the masks and train with the them. We got used to it and stuff but it is what it is. We all have to be super careful. When they go to the store we have to be super careful so we don’t get this coronavirus and we don’t get sick or a family member sick or anything like that. So, it’s just you know washing your hands a lot more, if one of us doesn’t feel so good that day and then that day we are just taking that time off. I’m off making sure we’re good.”
The UFC has famously done thousands of COVID tests since the whole pandemic started. Cass Bell says Bellator has taken the same caution to protect their fighters and staff.
“We got tested two days ago for the COVID. Now we’re driving to San Francisco and once we get to the airport, we get tested again, then we fly to Connecticut, and then as soon as we land they pick us straight up from the airport in a van with my team that’s it no one else. Then they drive straight to the hotel and we have to quarantine for a couple days in the hotel, we can’t get out. Then we get a we get tested again right when we get there. If we pass, then they will give us a our own little workout room. We just have a little workout room, and then back to our rooms and that’s all we can pretty much do until the tests come back. We’re pretty much just in a like a bubble.”
With the virus canceling everything, even barbers are closed down. And what is a Cass Bell fight night without the green hair? Lucky for us, Bell has the plug and is rocking a fresh coat of paint on top the dome.
“My boy hooked it up and then also my family friend who’s that. We got my hair dyed so we’re good to go.”
Predicting Khabib vs. Gaethje
Even though Cass Bell is a Bellator fighter, the fight world, including Bell himself, has their eyes on the next UFC lightweight title fight. It is a unification fight between reigning champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and interim champion, Justin Gaethje. Bell loves the fight and what each fighter brings to the table.
”That’s going to be an awesome, awesome fight. I’m definitely looking forward to that one. I don’t know I kind of think Gaethje might be able to get it. I mean, Khabib is the beast, he’s the man, and he has his wrestling and grappling and all that stuff. But Gaethje throws those hard punches and we saw with a Conor fight that Khabib took his shots. Gaethje does have that knockout power. Gaethje has great wrestling defense too so it will be sweet just to see how that actually plays off.”