Bellator’s Dave Jansen Says Knee “Never Better”, Hopes to Fight Winner of Alvarez-Chandler III This Summer
By Kelsey Mowatt
After his 2013 campaign was shut down due to reconstructive knee surgery, Bellator’s Dave Jansen says he’ll be ready to challenge for the promotion’s lightweight title this summer. The 34 year-old vet, who won Bellator’s Season 7 lightweight tourney last March by defeating Marcin Held, told Full Contact Fighter today:
“The knee’s never better, well, since I was a kid I’d imagine,” Jansen relayed during a recording session for this week’s episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “It’s actually 90% this last time I had it measured for the strength comparison to my good leg. So, my healing leg is beyond 90% now. 90% is the number that the physical therapist kind of used for return to sport ready, so I’ve been cleared.”
Jansen scored wins over Magomed Saadulaev, Ricardo Tirloni and Held to lock up a title fight with then champion Michael Chandler. After Jansen tore his ACL all the way through last May, however, “The Fugitive’s” title shot was sidelined.
Chandler ended up facing David Rickels at Bellator 97 in June and proceeded to quickly KO the lightweight. The renowned fighter lost by split decision to Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 106, and as a result of the thrilling fight, the promotion has decided to push forward with Alvarez-Chandler III.
“I talked to Bjorn; I’m just holding out for that title fight,” Jansen added. “That title picture to get cleared up with Chandler-Alvarez III, the trilogy being completed. That will happen, whatever, in the next two to three months. They haven’t announced it but they’re already doing the promo stuff. I’ll be fighting the winner of that hopefully in the “Summer Series”. So I’ve still got plenty of time.”
Although Jansen won’t have fought in well over a year by the time he challenges for the belt, the surging fighter has no desire to take a warm-up or catch-weight bout.
“You know they said they could keep me busy by giving me a fight that’s outside of the title picture, but that doesn’t interest me at this point,” said Jansen, who recently started up the Unaffiliated MMA gym in Portland alongside UFC vet Ian Loveland. “I could use all the time to prepare for a title shot. This is why I’m in Bellator. It’s not to fight scrubs and so far I haven’t, which is great.”
“I want to fight now but I want it to count; I want it to matter,” added Jansen, who has won six straight fights since exiting from the WEC in 2010. “I’m beyond what I was when I won the tournament. Now with my training and my physical therapy, I’ve retooled my entire camp and my approach. Sometimes injuries will actually open a doorway to a new way of thinking, and getting new eyes on me and my product. It’s great. I started my own gym and I’m coaching, and that also adds to the picture.”
You can hear the entire segment with Jansen on this week’s edition of Full Contact Fighter Radio, which will be posted Wednesday AM.