Mike Malott on Bellator 142 opponent Ousmane Thomas Diagne ‘This fight ends violently’

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Canadian featherweight Mike Malott makes his Bellator debut on September 19th at the promotions “Dynamite” event against Ousmane Thomas Diagne. Malott (4-1) spoke to MMAOddsBreaker on Episode 121 of “The Parting Shot Podcast” and discussed a variety of topics. Signing with Bellator  “The deal kind of just came together; I’ve been training at Team Alpha Male and Urijah Faber the coach for The Ultimate Fighter next season and there was kind of an open invite to go out and join them for a few days of filming. So I went out to Las Vegas to train with him and some of the guys on the show. While we were there, Faber got a call from one of the guys from Bellator that they needed a guy at 145-pounds and I was right there. He called me from two floors down and [told me] there was a fight for me.  Obviously when Bellator comes calling, you don’t say no. I’m ecstatic about this fight.”   Level of excitement when he got the news he’s be fighting at Bellator 142  “I was ecstatic. I’m a huge kickboxing fan; I came originally from more of a K1 style background I guess. The school that I started out with was K1 style oriented, I’ve grown to become to a very big fan of that style to fighting. I love Glory, I’m excited as a fan just to watch this collaboration between Bellator and Glory. This is going to be a historic event. Plus a friend of mine and fellow Canadian is defending his Glory world title on that card, Gabriel Varga. So I’m excited for myself to fight and I’m excited for him to defend his world title.”   Loss to Hakeem Dawodu in his last fight at WSOF 14 “There was a lot that went wrong in that fight. Physically he pointed out some holes of mine. I’m not a guy to make excuses, there were some stuff leading up to the fight that will never ever happen again. I’ve learned from those things, it taught me a lot for myself. If anything it kind of raised my confidence now, I don’t know why I feel like I’ve become a more mature fighter and person. It sparked this move to Team Alpha Male for me. That loss was a big part of the reason why I moved down here.”   How he started trained at Team Alpha Male in California  “To be perfectly honest there wasn’t much of a relationship beforehand. One of my friends from Ontario Josh Hill, he had been down a couple of times  and after practice one day I asked if he had any contact info [for Team Alpha Male] I sent it off to my manager, they chatted, worked some things out and I flew down. When I came down here I didn’t know a soul. Came down with the intention of staying and I still have that intention. I’ve gone home to visit my family, but this is my home now, it’s the perfect fit for me. I was obviously a little nervous about picking up my whole life and coming down here, not knowing anyone. [But] I haven’t regretted it since.”   How his skillset has evolved training at Team Alpha Male  “I’m night and day different, especially from the Hakeem fight. The Hakeem fight wasn’t anywhere near a good indicator of my skill level or ability at the time, let alone now. It’s been almost a year since then and I’ve grown leaps and bounds from that fight. I think you guys are going to see a much more dynamic fighter. A much more confident, mature, fight wise style fighter. I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s really grown for me in the last year. I’ve learned new moves but it’s not like I’m a jiu-jitsu player where I’m looking to add 1000 new moves and learn five new moves a day. I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes that a lot of martial artists do is add more, more, more. If you’re really confident in your game, you don’t need to have that insecurity. If you keep it where you want it, then those shouldn’t be as big of a concern as you’re making it.”   Having fellow Canadians training with him at Team Alpha Male  “It’s good to have them all coming down. I hope to come to have some more friends come down soon. A friend of mine [UFC lightweight] Shane Campbell has come down here and fought. I’m hoping to have some guys from the Maritimes and some of my Ontario friends as well.”   Matchup with Ousmane Thomas Diagne “I’ve seen enough tape of him. He looks like he’s a really talented fighter, but to be honest I’m pretty damn confident. It doesn’t really matter who you’re putting in front of me here, I’m training with the best fighters in the world every single day. I train at the best gym arguably in the world. I’m not worried what this guy is bringing to the table. He’s got some good kicks I guess and decent striking. But I’m definitely no slouch of a fighter myself. I really think this is a favourable matchup for me.”   Cut to featherweight  “Weight cut is going pretty well, it’s always a pretty tough cut. I’m 6’1 and fight at 145-pounds so I’m trying to scrape off everything off this Skeleton now that isn’t being used for a purpose. I’m doing the diet on my own now, which I definitely think it’s going to benefit me. The weight is coming off a lot easier than it has in the past and a lot easier than it did in my last fight. I missed weight in my last fight and I was pretty embarrassed about that. I feel way better and I’m lighter then I was from my last camp. I don’t think the weight is going to be an issue at all.”   Where a win over Diagne puts him in the division  “I don’t think it’s really a win over him, I think it’s a win in Bellator that’s going to do some things for my career.  He’s definitely a good fighter but again it’s not any concern of mine. I’m more excited for the opportunity to fight on such a big stage and I think it’s going to bring a lot of attention to me.  I see myself being signed to a multi-fight deal to Bellator – this is just a one fight deal – or the UFC early next year. Or ONE FC, I’m definitely open to that as well along with WSOF.”   How this fight ends September 25th  “This fight ends violently, early or late. I’m looking to put on the pressure and break this guy mentally and physically. I don’t think he stacks up well against me. I see the fight ending my way and it will be a finish, I don’t fight for decisions. I’m here to beat you up and walk away while you’re still on the ground.”   How much longer he plans on fighting  “I want to do a couple more years I think, I want to make a real run at it. I don’t want to look back on things and say I should have done this and have those regrets. I’m doing it the way I should have done it. I’m in the best possible position to do it. Things are looking pretty good.”   You can follow Mike on Twitter @Michael_Malott and you can also listen to the full audio version of this interview below (45 mins in) 

Written by James Lynch

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