Bellator 110: Scott Cleve Says Efforts to Avoid “Real Job” Behind Recent Run, Expecting “Everything” From Daniel Weichel
By Kelsey Mowatt
It hasn’t taken Scott Cleve long to battle his way into Bellator’s featherweight tournament, as following his successful, promotional debut in October, the Pariah MMA fighter has been booked for the Season 10 competition. On Friday night, Cleve will take on well traveled vet Daniel Weichel in Uncasville, Connecticut, in the quarterfinals of Bellator’s latest 145 pound tourney.
“Yeah, Bellator approached me and I actually got a two year contract with them, and that was one of the stipulations, that if I win a fight, or a performance level, that I was going to be entering into the tournament,” Cleve relayed on a recent edition of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “So it was just a matter of making sure that I went out there, and did what I had to do. Show them that it wasn’t a mistake signing me.”
What Cleve did in his Bellator debut, was stop veteran Isaac DeJesus in the second round.
“I wanted to make sure that I went out there and performed to the best of my abilities,” Cleve said, while discussing the October 4th bout. “It was a little nerve wracking, because I had worked so hard to get there, I just didn’t want the opportunity to slip through my hands.”
While the TKO win over DeJesus ensured Cleve’s participation in the next featherweight tourney, the fighter’s recent run likely played a big role as well. Not only was the win Cleve’s sixth in a row, but the Colorado Springs resident has scored victories over vets like Ryan Schultz and Steve Berger during that time. The only man to defeat Cleve in his last 10 fights is Gilbert Jimenez.
“It’s literally just continuing moving forward actually,” said Cleve, while discussing what’s contributed to his recent success. “I started off my career undefeated at 4-0, then I went through a two fight skid where I had a quick TKO loss, and then in my very next fight, I took a last minute fight at 70 and I lost a decision.”
“Then I wracked off four more wins, and then I lost at 155 again in this tournament, to a guy I felt like I should have beat,” Cleve noted about his loss to Jimenez. “I lost based off my performance. My inability to perform. I went out there and crushed him, like 10-8 in the first round, and gassed myself out…I went in there a little over confident I guess you could say, and after that, it was just kind of gut check. I wanted to take it more serious, and really do everything that I needed to or start looking for a real job.”
In Weichel, Cleve will take on a veteran who has nearly 40 fights under his belt, who has only lost twice since 2008. The German fighter arrives in Bellator having won three bouts in a row, and is 4-1 in his last 5 contests.
“He has a lot of submission victories, but someone with that much experience, you can’t really expect them to be one dimensional,” Cleve said about Weichel. “He has almost 40 fights, he’s been fighting over in Russia in the M-1 organization for a while, and I’ve just got to expect everything. It looks like he’s got a pretty good Muay Thai base now, and obviously his jiu-jitsu background speaks for itself…I think my footwork and speed will hopefully give me an advantage.”
Bellator 110 will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena, and will feature “Rampage” Jackson taking on Christian M’Pumbu in the main event.