Mark “Pockets” Gardner (1-1) will make his Bellator debut this Friday evening, August 7th, when he meets Dalton Rosta (2-0) in a short notice bout at the Mohegan Sun Casino for Bellator 243.
Gardner who trains at “The Academy” in Portland Maine was an undefeated amateur fighter going (3-0) before deciding to make the jump to the professional ranks. One question we had for Gardner was why did he turn pro so soon. Gardner discussed turning professional and the decision behind it.
“Technique wise I was ready. I think my short amateur career was just to get used to being in the cage, maybe I could have gone a little longer but at the same time why wouldn’t I want to get paid for doing what I’m doing. Plus I wanna be able to throw elbows, I want longer rounds, and the benefits of going Pro outweighed the downfalls”.
Now Gardner is prepping for his third professional fight and he is entering a big stage. Unfortunately for ‘Pockets’, in his second professional fight, he was clipped and lost to Reginaldo Felix in the first round. That was the last time we saw him compete inside the cage and we got his feedback on what the take away was from the only fight he has ever lost inside the cage.
“I definitely learned to keep my hands up after that. I got tagged like a minute in and got TKO’d. I was doing head movement and kept my hands away from my head. Shit happens it wasn’t good but I also believe it was a fluke and I just came back from that wanting it more”.
Mark is now at the venue and getting ready for the biggest fight of his young career thus far. ‘Pockets’ seemed laser-focused throughout this interview and when it came time to discuss his fight against Dalton, his answers reflected the stoic persona.
“He’s got good wrestling and I have a feeling he’s not gonna try and take me down. He throws big punches but I don’t know how crisp his technique is. I have a feeling he’s gonna try and keep it standing and I’m not really worried about that”.
I continued to pry and get Gardner’s take on how he envisions this fight finishing.
“If it gets to the ground definitely a finish. That’s what I’ll be looking for on the ground I’m more of a jump on a submission guy unless positional, especially against a good wrestler. He’s gonna be trying to get up so instead of trying to hold him down and throw bombs I’ll be looking for a submission. I think even stand up if I’m getting the better of him I’m gonna take him down because that’s what I like to do, so yeah I’m thinking a submission”.
Tune in to the live Youtube stream to watch Mark Gardner make his Bellator debut this Friday evening, August 7th.