Ask Dillon Danis and Wednesday’s media engagement in New York ahead of Bellator 222 in Madison Square Garden won’t be the last time he drapes two belts over his shoulder.
Danis, ahead of the second bout of his mixed martial arts career against Max Humphrey on Friday, spotted an opportunity and seized Rory MacDonald’s welterweight belt and Darrion Caldwell’s bantamweight title unguarded and hoisted them to his shoulders, as the watching media clicked their cameras in approval.
It was a moment of visualisation, perhaps, much like some of the others who have come before him in Straight Blast Gym Ireland, the Dublin facility in which Danis spends time.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) June 12, 2019
At the same time though, Danis isn’t concerned with beginning his MMA journey already in fifth gear and says he is focused on Humphrey solely and whatever comes after will come after.
“I’ve seen guys, they start off, and they go too fast,” Danis said via MMA Junkie. “The people that care about you will give you the best advice. Obviously I weigh up what I want to do, weigh up what my coach wants to do, and we go from there. I feel like having a good team around you is very important, because you’ve seen guys without good teams and you see one, two fights, and they’re gone, or you don’t really hear about them anymore.
“Even with (Aaron) Pico, I think this is a tough fight to come back from from a knockout. How old is he? 23? Getting knocked out, dropping his first fight is not good for your brain. He has what? Ten, 15 years of fighting left? You shouldn’t be getting caught and put to sleep like that and keep fighting.
“I don’t know him, I have nothing against him. I’m just saying you need to be smart with MMA. MMA is not wresting, it’s not jiu-jitsu, it’s a different animal. You’ve got to be smart, and you’ve got to be tuned into everything.”
Danis’ MMA debut came in April a year ago, a match he won by toe-hold submission in less than 100 seconds. His opponent, the 3-2 Humphrey, will come into the fight with experience on his side but Danis remains unconcerned of any perceived advantages such as this.
“He challenges me with experience,” Danis said. “He has like 16 fights amateur and pro. I think everybody has more experience than me. Everyone likes to talk like I’m (expletive) 15-0 or 30-0 because of my popularity and stuff, but I’m only 1-0. I think experience is maybe the only something that he has. But experience is not going to be enough.
“I’m a different level than everybody. I feel like there’s no one that can even compare to me and my mind in the game. That will show. I’m going to take that experience with me and keep going up until one day I’m going to fight for that belt, and I’m going to be like, ‘I’ve (expletive) seen everything.'”