Season 7 lightweight finalist Marcin Held was surprised that Rich Clementi went to the ground with him, but nonetheless thankful.
Veteran Clementi had over 60 fights on his pro resume when they met in the semifinals, and was well aware of Held’s skill on the mat. Yet he didn’t sprawl and brawl when they locked up, and tapped to a toe hold in the second round.
“The win over Rich helped to raise my confidence going into the finals against Dave Jansen,” Held (15-2 MMA, 4-1 BFC), who meets Jansen (19-2 MMA, 5-0 BFC) in the headliner of Bellator 93, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Every win makes me more confident, especially when it comes against a great opponent like Rich.”
The support of family also gives Held a boost. The 21-year-old fighter, whose age held up the conclusion of the lightweight tournament (he was 20 when the casino hosting his bout with Jansen denied him entry), is closer than most fighters to his mother.
“My mom is a very special woman,” he said. “I still live at home with her. It’s important for me to make her proud of me.”
Mom will be watching at Bellator 93, which takes place at Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. The lightweight bout headlines the Spike TV-televised portion of the card following prelims on Spike.com.
“Dave Jansen is a really complete fighter,” Held said. “He definitely has shown that he belongs here in the finals. He is a good wrestler with good striking. He’s also a very smart fighter.”
But Held believes that his submission ability will help him prevail. The trick now is to get Jansen to the mat, or perhaps lull him into thinking he’s safe, as with Clementi.
“Jansen will be in trouble if the fight goes to the ground,” Held said. “I love finishing my fights with leg locks so if he leaves his leg out, I’m going to take it.”
For more on Bellator 93, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.