Bellator 136: Dave Jansen Has Been “Folding The Steel”, “Sharpening” Physical And Mental Game as Title Shot Nears
By Kelsey Mowatt
Dave Jansen’s road to a title shot has been a long and perilous one, but on Friday night, “The Fugitive” will finally throw down for Bellator’s Lightweight Championship.
Over two years ago now, Jansen worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Marcin Held at Bellator 93, and in doing so, won the promotion’s lightweight tourney. At the time, a tourney win meant that you would fight for the title next, but a knee injury sent Jansen to the sidelines for over a year.
By the time Jansen was ready to return, the championship had changed hands, and so had Bellator’s matchmaking format. The 35 year-old was booked to fight Rick Hawn at Bellator 130, and thanks to Jansen’s unanimous decision win, he will challenge the champ Will Brooks on April 10th.
“It feels great,” Jansen said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the fact his championship bout has finally arrived. “I’ve just been refining my basics, and I feel like I’ve been folding the steel for three years now, making this blade the best I can. Now I’m just kind of putting the finishing touches on the edge just now. Sharpening everything that I have.”
Although Jansen fought just once in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the Oregon fighter has won seven straight bouts now, since he made his Bellator debut in 2011. The last man to defeat him is current UFC featherweight contender, Ricardo Lamas, who decisioned Jansen back in 2010 at WEC 50.
“I’m feeling great. Honestly, never better. I’m taking care of myself. Flossing my teeth, eating vegetables and getting plenty of sleep,” Jansen added, half jokingly. “All that stuff. I feel good.”
Prior to facing Hawn, Jansen relayed that he had trained extensively on his striking game, and that was evident in the bout. The lightweight, however, has been working on ways to improve the mental side of his game as well.
“I’ve been dealing with pressure a lot of ways,” said Jansen, when asked how he dealt with the pressure that was tied to his comeback bout versus Hawn. “I think the main thing that helps is just focusing on the process and not the outcome. I don’t dwell on a win or a loss, because the win is just the bi-product of being as excellent as I can with training and taking care of myself. My mental and physical health.”
“So, by not focusing on the what ifs, but the what can I do today…”Jansen added. “I’ve also been meditating, which is really a game changer I feel for me. I’ve been in the flotation tanks for years now, three or four years, I think I’ve had over a hundred and fifty floats in that time, so it’s really easy to meditate in the float tank, but now I’m practicing outside of the float tank as well.”
Bellator 136 will be hosted by the Brens Event Center in Irvine, California, and the main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.
Stay tuned for a follow up article regarding Jansen’s thoughts on Brooks and their upcoming bout.