SAN JOSE, Calif. – Tyrell Fortune thinks he’s yet to hit his stride as a fighter.
Boasting a decorated collegiate wrestling career, big things were expected out of Fortune (11-2 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) when he made the transition to MMA.
He lived up to those expectations until he suffered a big upset loss to Tim Johnson in 2020 but was able to rebound with three straight wins. However, in his past outing at Bellator 271, he was edged out by Linton Vassell in a hard-fought battle, but the 31-year-old is excited to continue growing.
“I feel really happy with the position I’m in right now,” Fortune said at Wednesday’s media day for Bellator 277. “I still feel really green. Every camp I go back, I feel like I’m learning more and more. I try to get more exposure to professional, high-level boxers and kickboxers and jiu-jitsu guys so I feel like my game is constantly growing. I feel like I’m still kinda in my rookie season. MMA, we don’t really have a season it’s like all-year round.
“But five years in with 13 fights, I still feel like I’m pretty much a rookie, maybe kind of moving into my sophomore year a little bit. My last fight was the first fight where I was able to throw caution to the wind. I was like, ‘OK, I’m probably down second round. Who cares what happens?’ And I was able to just put that behind my head and step into the danger zone and throw hands, so to feel that comfortable with danger present was very good for me. It was very comfortable, and I used that my whole camp.”
Fortune will look to rebound when he meets Rakim Cleveland (22-14-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) at Bellator 277, which takes place Friday at SAP Center. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Check out the full media day interview with Fortune in the video above.