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After a nearly four-year start to his career where he was not forced to drop out of a fight, lightweight Adam Piccolotti missed his February scheduled bout with Brent Primus due to injury.

While dealing with an injury and the work that comes with getting his body healthy wasn’t an issue for Piccolotti, having to miss time for something that happened to him was the tougher thing to handle.

“It’s really challenging mentally,” Piccolotti told MMAWeekly.com. “Of course there was a physical aspect of my injury and that’s what put me out, but the physical stuff I can deal with, it’s the mental aspect that’s kept me out so long that has sucked.

“I love to fight and I love to compete, so not to be able to do what I do is a bummer. The pure pride in having to pull out of a fight really hurts. That’s the first time I had to do that. It was something new, and hopefully I learn from it. I’m just happy to be back.”

If anything positive came out of his time off, Piccolotti acknowledges that he was able to add to his game once he was able to begin training again.

“I had a lot of time to do some studying,” said Piccolotti. “Especially after that initial rehab, kind of on my way back, I was able to do a lot of drilling and practicing without necessarily the hard sparring and stuff like that. I feel like I make significant improvements in my game, especially since my last fight.”

Piccolotti (9-0) will step into the cage for the first time in 10 months when he takes on Goiti Yamauchi (21-3) in a Bellator 183 main card 155-pound bout on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.

“This kid has some good experience, he’s fought for Bellator a while,” Piccolotti said of Yamauchi. “He’s got a good ground game as well. I think it’s really going to be me going out and putting everything together better than he does. That’s what is going to separate us.

“It’s all about transitions, and not necessarily one individual skill, that’s going to win the fight. I think it’s going to be well-rounded, putting it together, being aggressive and violent, and putting it all together that night.”

Having won all five of his Bellator bouts, including three finishes, another victory on September 23 could very well secure Piccolotti a lightweight title shot. However, if a championship match doesn’t materialize, then Piccolotti wants to face a title contender at the least.

“I don’t think about it too much,” said Piccolotti. “I know where I’m at, though, and I know where the division is at. If they don’t want to give me a title shot, I want somebody in the Top 4.

“There’s the (Bellator 183) main event with Benson (Henderson) and ‘Pitbull’ (Freire), and I would like to fight either one of them. I see the two guys who are in the (upcoming lightweight) title fight; (Brent) Primus and (Michael) Chandler, and I’d like to fight either one of them. Other than that, I don’t see it being too smart to fight anybody else.”

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