Mandel Nallo is only thinking about fighting to his potential at Bellator 231

While his fighting career hasn’t seen much activity in 2019, lightweight Mandel Nallo has spent his year making progression in his life outside the cage.

For Nallo, the positive strides he’s made in his personal life have also allowed him to focus on growing his MMA game, and though he’s just now getting into his first fight of the year, he feels like he has already accomplished much in 2019.

“The year has been good from a life progression standpoint,” Nallo told “I moved into a nice house that I bought with my wife. We had our first child last year.

“Through all of those major life milestones, I’ve been also able to train a great amount, and I feel as though that I’m evolving still as a competitor in this sport. It’s been a good year, while not being able to compete as much as I’d like.”

Nallo admits not fighting so far this year has had its difficulties, but he’s been able to work through them and is anxious to see how the training he has had this year finally plays out in a fight.

“It’s been disappointing to a degree,” said Nallo. “We’ve signed for fights this year, and for whatever reason things didn’t work out. It’s the kind of sports that if you feel down every time a fight falls through you’re going to lead a pretty depressed life, so I try not to look at it that way.

“It’s all a theoretical progression until you absolutely put it into action. I’ll really be able to know the changes I’ve made after (the upcoming fight).”

On October 25 in Uncasville, Connecticut, Nallo (7-0) will finally have his first bout of the year when he takes on Killys Mota (11-1) in a preliminary 155-pound bout at Bellator 231.

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“As every fight in career so far, it’s a sizable step up in competition,” Nallo said. “(Mota) poses different threats than almost everybody else I have ever fought. He’s a big guy. He’s a good finisher. He has a lot of experience.

“In my opinion, to win fights for me, and most people at my gym, is fighting to your potential. If you can fight to your potential you’ll win, I think. As long as I do what I know I can do, I take the win. If I make mistakes this is the kind of guy who can capitalize on those mistakes.”

For Nallo, he has an idea of what he’d like to do in 2020, but if it doesn’t pan out it’s not too big an issue as he’s not going to worry too much about what could be next for him after his bout on October 25.

“I don’t really try to lay out too much of a plan,” said Nallo. “Ideally if Bellator wants to put together a lightweight tournament that’d be great, but I’m not thinking too far ahead. This (upcoming fight) is all I have planned. I’m only thinking one week ahead.”

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