THACKERVILLE, Okla. – After Tyrell Fortune’s second-round TKO finish of Azunna Anyanwu, his coach wanted him to call out former WWE star Jake Hager again. But he has his sights set on another potential cross-codes fight.
Backstage after his win at Bellator 233 this past Friday, Fortune (8-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) laughed about the difference of opinion.
“Coach wants me to talk some (expletive) on Swagger still,” Fortune told MMA Junkie. “But I’m like, ‘Dude, he’s out of my league. He’s not even close.’
“Tyson Fury’s better than (expletive) Swagger. At least that’s some competition. Swagger ain’t got (expletive). He still ain’t punching people. He’s still trying to take them down.”
That’s not to say that Fortune won’t take the Hager fight if offered, mind you. He’d take it in a heartbeat.
“I’d beat his ass for fun,” he said. “It’d be an easy check, of course.”
Fortune was in an understandably good mood after his performance against Anyanwu (15-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA). He stayed patient throughout a largely uneventful first round as he studied his opponent before exploding on him in the second round for a clinical, impressive TKO finish.
“I wasn’t in a rush,” he said. “I knew second round, I would go for the knockout. I was just getting the timing and feeling for everything.”
And when he connected big after the break, he knew it was time to finish the job.
“I could see his legs start moving and his eyes went the other direction, so I knew, ‘OK, it’s time to get him.’”
Fortune’s latest victory pushes him one step closer to the sharp end of Bellator’s heavyweight division as the undefeated former wrestling standout continues to impress inside the Bellator cage.
And while he had previously expressed his frustration at being brought along slowly, Fortune is getting more comfortable with his slow-played developmental management by the Bellator matchmakers.
“I can beat everybody up on my way up,” he said. “Nobody’s a threat to me. I’m not worried. Everybody’s looking at me. They’re worried about what I’m about to do. So I’m in no rush.”
And if that slower path to the top means there’s room in his schedule to take on undefeated former heavyweight boxing champion Fury, he’d be more than happy to welcome Fury to the world of MMA.
“Fury talked to (UFC president) Dana White and he wanted to get into MMA, and Dana White said he didn’t want to take the fight,” he said. “So if (Bellator president) Scott Coker wants to sign Fury, I’d be willing to knock his ass out.”
And while some people may think the idea is a far-fetched one, Fortune has a different take.
“Do you see the matchups in Bellator?” he said. “Yeah, I see that and think it’s a realistic match. Michael “Venom” Page fought a guy who was 3-2 after Douglas Lima. Did that make any sense? I don’t think so.
“But yeah, Tyson Fury’s a name, he holds a heavyweight boxing title, so I think that makes a lot of sense, especially for an up-and-comer like me. Who wouldn’t want to see a fight like that?”