Dominic Mazzotta | photo courtesy Chris Nolan
When Dominic Mazzotta (14-3) signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA in 2017, many Western Pennsylvania fans assumed it would be a long time before they’d get to see him fight locally again.
Those fans won’t have as long to wait as expected, however, as Mazzotta will take a one-fight break from his Bellator schedule to headline WFC 109 this weekend in his hometown of Pittsburgh.
“The promoter reached out to ask if I would fight on [July] 13th, and I talked to [head coach] Isaac Greeley about it,” Mazzotta told BluegrassMMA. “We asked Bellator when they planned to fight me and they said the end of the year so we asked them if we could fight locally to keep me busy and we got their blessing. [It’s] definitely one of the perks for fighting for Bellator.”
Mazzotta was one of the most highly touted prospects in the sport when he signed with Bellator, but a first round knockout loss to A.J. McKee in his debut derailed that a little bit.
After the loss, “The Honey Badger” returned to his more natural bantamweight division, earning a TKO win over Matt Lozano and a decision over Josh Sampo.
Heading into 2019 he seemed to be inching up the 135-pound rankings, and earned a bout against fellow rising star Shawn Bunch at Bellator 219 in March. Mazzotta lost via decision, but he remains a piece of the future of the division for the promotion.
Bellator has had grand prix tournaments in the heavyweight and welterweight divisions, and a 16-man featherweight grand prix will start later this year. If the promotion decides to do the same at 135, Mazzotta could be considered.
“I definitely hope they do a grand prix at some point in the near future,” Mazzotta said. “If they do, I’m in – no doubt about that.”
But before he worries about a grand prix, Mazzotta has to focus on winning and improving his 2-2 record with the promotion.
“I think right now it’s going to take a couple wins to get back in title contention,” Mazzotta said. “My last performance didn’t help with that at all but hopefully by end of next year I’m back in the mix.
Mazzotta looks to get back on track this weekend, when he faces veteran Chris Johnson (7-10) in the WFC 109 main event.
Johnson hails from Chicago and has competed in some notable regional promotions, including Ring of Combat and Hoosier Fight Club. He started his career with just one win in his first seven bouts, but since then he’s 6-4 in his last ten contests, including four wins via stoppage.
“Chris is a dangerous fighter,” Mazzotta said. “His record isn’t stellar, but he has a lot of experience and I’m not taking him lightly in the slightest.”
Mazzotta has trained in Texas and Florida for his most recent bouts, including with noted coach Henri Hooft. But for this fight, he spent the entire time training at home, returning to The Mat Factory to train with Greeley and some of the best fighters that the Steel City has to offer.
WFC 109 takes place this Saturday at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Check out the full lineup here.
The post Dominic Mazzotta returning to his roots in WFC 109 headliner appeared first on BluegrassMMA.