Bellator Tournament ‘Means Everything’ to Dave Jansen


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Dave Jansen secured his spot in the Bellator Season 7 lightweight tournament semifinals with his entertaining submission win Oct. 19 over Magomed Saadulaev.

In a recent interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, he discussed his victory, semifinal opponent Ricardo Tirloni and more.

On grabbing a guillotine choke in the third round: “I had a full tank of gas at that point and I think Saadulaev was sputtering on empty after I hit him with those body shots. … It’s just a testament to my training and my conditioning and my diet. I could have gone five rounds that night easily. That’s my bread and butter, just squeezing on chokes. I can do that all day. And plus, when I threw that on, I realized I had his arm trapped. I was on his throat.”

On Saadulaev: “I knew I could just weather the storm and take my opportunities where I saw them later in the fight, but I think Magomed would be a handful for anyone in the Bellator lightweight division or the featherweight division. … Looking at Magomed Saadulaev now, I think I may have just fought the other toughest guy in the tournament, just the way he came out in that first round.”

On Tirloni: “I’m hoping to get that finish early, whether it be a knockout or a submission. I don’t want to give away too much, but I think it’s going to be an entertaining fight. … I think that’s another great matchup for me.”

On Rich Clementi, who upset Alexander Sarnavskiy in the quarterfinals and fights Marcin Held in the semifinals: “I had the pleasure of being in the same locker room as Rich and I was really rooting for him. I told him before he went out there, I was like, ‘It’s man versus boy, Rich. He’s got no idea what you’re going to bring.’ I think that might be the same situation for Held. Rich is tough as nails and he’s got all the tools. I’m pretty sure he’s got good leg lock defense. I see Rich winning that one.”

On possibly fighting Clementi in the finals: “I was thinking this from the beginning. It’s an international tournament and it’d be really great to have two Americans fighting for the tournament championship.”

On the tournament and the money he could make if he wins: “This means everything to me. … I was working in a restaurant at the same time I started my pro career, but this gives me every option just to be a professional fighter and not have to worry about doing private lessons or coaching or working another job.”

On some of the jobs he’s had besides being a fighter: “I was cooking and serving at a couple of restaurants in Portland here. I’ve done construction in the past, a lot of roofing. At one point I was an ice cream man. I had a little stint as the ice cream man before college. That was fun. Got to drive a mail Jeep with the steering column on the right. That was a little awkward. … But I did have the music going. ‘The Entertainer‘ -- you know that little jingle? That was the one that drew the most. … I tried to push the chocolate tacos, and for the parents, the Magnums were the big-money item.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 31:38).

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