Bellator 123: Scott Cleve Ready for “Cool Match-up” Against Matt Bessette, Weighs in on Loss to Daniel Weichel
By Kelsey Mowatt
When Scott Cleve steps into the Bellator cage on September 5th, he will have had over five months to digest the submission loss he suffered versus Daniel Weichel on February 28th. The defeat ended Cleve’s six fight winning streak, and came just a few months after he stopped Isaac DeJesus in his Bellator debut.
“I’m a competitor, and to me it doesn’t really matter who it is in front of me,” Cleve said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing whether the loss stung a little less, because it came against a 40 fight plus vet. “Although, it was cool to see him go on and win the tournament. That’s always a plus.”
“At least I didn’t lose to a guy who walked out there and looked like a fool,” the 14-4 featherweight added. “He went out there, won the tournament, and all that other stuff, so, if I was going to lose to anyone out of the tournament, the winner is the way I’d want it to be.”
Weichel recorded the 34th pro victory of his lengthy career by tapping out Cleve with a first round, rear-naked-choke.
“Just getting caught like that, because I wasn’t really out,” Cleve said, when asked for his reflections on the loss. “Obviously I was dazed, my legs went out when he clipped me with that right hand, but the choke came in, so I felt like I didn’t get to open up yet…”
“I was kind of feeling him out for the first minute or so, and once I felt what he had, I started touching him and I was getting him to back up a little bit,” furthered Cleve, who trains out of Pariah MMA in Colorado Springs. “He was starting to get tentative, his face was turning red, a lot of my punches were starting to land and then I got caught. So it was a little frustrating that it happened that way.”
At Bellator 123, Cleve will take on Matt Bessette, who interestingly enough, is also coming off a loss to Weichel. The latter went on to face Bessette at Bellator 114 in March, and worked his way to a unanimous decision win over the featherweight.
Prior to facing Weichel, Bessette had won five straight fights, which included a split decision win over UFC vet Diego Nunes in February.
“I like the match-up”, said Cleve, when asked for his thoughts on facing Bessette next. “I think it’s a good fight for me based on our style. I’m a wrestler; he’s a jiu-jitsu guy who likes to kick a little bit. So, I think the takedowns will be there, and also he’s got a little notoriety coming off making it to the semis of the tournament. We both lost to the same guy, so I think it’s kind of a cool match-up.”
Bellator 123 will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and the main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.
For more on Cleve, and his thoughts on the recent changes that Bellator has introduced, head here.