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After training with Ryan Bader, unbeaten Tyrell Fortune seeks breakthrough at Bellator 225

STAMFORD, Conn. – Tyrell Fortune has been somewhat frustrated by his inactive schedule in recent years. However, he said he’s made the most of the six months since his last competed.

Fortune (6-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) will meet Rudy Schaffroth in a heavyweight bout on Saturday’s Bellator 225 main card, which airs on Paramount following prelims on MMA Junkie from Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. He was hoping to get back sooner after getting a knockout win in just over two minutes in February, but it didn’t materialize.

The upside to that, though, is that it gave him more time to train alongside Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.

“I thought knocking that guy out in the first two minutes would’ve definitely changed (not getting more fights),” Fortune told MMA Junkie. “But this layover was actually better to me than the last one. I was able to train with Bader more, got a lot more work with him. … I’ve made more leaps and bounds in my training camp, just being able to train and have Ryan Bader there to utilize him as my partner.”

The preparation with Bader has Fortune feeling sharp going into Bellator 225. He’s scheduled to meet Schaffroth (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), who he has actually known in a competitive setting since prior to their time as collegiate wrestlers.

Fortune said he’s not bringing any of that history into the cage.

“We used to wrestle each other, wrestling back in the day when we were kids,” Fortune said. “We wrestled once in college. It’s been over 10 years. I’m not that same guy. I’m sure he’s not the same guy. To me it wouldn’t matter who is in front of me. It’s an opponent. The face, the name means nothing to me. I’ve got one objective: Knock you out, beat you up.”

Schaffroth’s longest fight to date is just over three minutes, and against low-level competition he’s proven he can win quickly. Fortune has a plan to see how Schaffroth handles someone who won’t be taken out early.

Fortune predicts he will “break” Schaffroth on fight night, and he hopes the performance will show he’s worthy of more fights against bigger names.

“I hope this can catapult my career and my name to really make something for it,” Fortune said. “I would love to take out another household name. That’s kind of what you work for when you’re a prospect working up, beating other prospects or other guys to show that you’re improving.”

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