Pat Bennett: “I’m still training as if this were a five round fight!”

With unfortunate circumstances come new opportunity; decorated American wrestler Pat Bennett is intent on making the most of his rematch against 2010 M-1 Selection Americas heavyweight tournament winner, Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner, a bout where Bennett can avenge the most horrific loss of his career. As the headliner at M-1 Challenge: Bennett vs. Garner, the action goes down from The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California, LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, July 8 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast).

Bennett was originally slated to face the reigning M-1 Heavyweight Champion, Guram Gugenishvili, but the undefeated Georgian powerhouse suffered a training injury that will keep him sidelined until the fall. As Garner stepped into to fill the void, Bennett expressed his excitement for the new opponent; “Sure this isn’t for the title but I’m looking at the bright side – I get to get one of my losses back. I’ve wanted to fight Kenny ever since he beat me in the tournament finals. I really didn’t get a chance to impose my will on him in that fight and he took advantage of that opportunity, but I can GUARANTEE that the same result will not happen again this time out.”

Fighting out of Marcellus, NY, this Team Bombsquad fighter needs to deliver a career performance to keep his championship dream alive; he already knows firsthand that Garner will capitalize on any mistakes and send him back to the end of the queue of a long list of heavyweight contenders should he come out flat.

Bennett sports an established 7-2 combined amateur and professional mixed martial arts record heavily weighted in the ‘win’ column with five first-round TKO’s. Although known for his proud wrestling pedigree, Bennett has proven to be a multidimensional fighter able to transition his skills to whatever is set in front of him.

As a key member of the Team Bombsquad contingent, Bennett’s manager, Ryan Ciotoli, has nothing but praise for the heavyweight’s performances to date. “Pat’s a three time All-American wrestler, so he possesses a great base and he’s an electrifying striker; hence the reason for his five first round wins. I definitely consider Bennett to be the top contender in the heavyweight division.”

Bennett had recently set his wrestling on the back burner in favour of striking throughout his 2010 M-1 Selection Americas tournament run, displaying a wide array of talents. Opening up the brackets against Nick Smiley, the mild-mannered monster needed a total of 37 seconds to destroy Smiley by TKO and leave him in the ring busted and bloodied. His semi-final bout was a marathon war with Mehdi Hassan where he earned a unanimous decision victory. The run was halted in the finals however as Bennett fell victim to Garner’s lead left hook; unable to answer Garner’s striking, Bennett notched the second loss of his career via TKO at the midway point of the opening frame.

Bennett’s first trip to M-1’s larger, international stage was in December at M-1 Challenge XXII where he faced Alexander Volkov; the staunch American went back to his decorated base with a game plan to exploit the stylistic mismatch; defend the striking, set-up takedowns and demolish Volkov on the ground. Bennett did exactly this for four full rounds with precision execution. Although the initial decision was shrouded in controversy, an independent panel of judges rightfully scored the bout in Bennett’s favour.

At 6’ 3”, 240 pounds, Bennett has heavy hands that deliver unforgiving power; if he connects with his overhand right, there is a real possibility to see Garner fall this time out. But Bennett will have to successfully defend takedown attempts and push the pace as he sees fit while being cautiously aware of Garner’s heavy striking arsenal and submission game.

With neither fighter having the home-town crowd advantage on July 8th, Bennett controls his own destiny in the biggest fight of his career, intent to avenge his most horrific loss and head towards a well-earned title shot later this year. “First and foremost it is always a pleasure to fight under the M-1 banner and I can’t wait for this fight. This opportunity means the world to me and my family on so many levels and I take my career very seriously.”

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I’ve been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven’t missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I’ve witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC…………..

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