It's a dream come true, and a dream that's just beginning.
That's one way to summarize what mixed martial arts fighter Mike Mucitelli has accomplished. Last Friday, he earned a spot in a nationally televised fight against Matt Van Buren. Mucitelli won with ease by executing a triangle hold to perfection in the first round.
That mightily impressive showing was rewarded by a contract for six more nationally televised Bellator MMA fights. You could see the look of absolute joy on Mucitelli's face as his opponent tapped out, and he realized he had won in its first and only appearance so far on the grand stage of Bellator fights.
"There's always a little bit of fear because let's be honest it's not exactly the most normal situation to be in, locked in a caged with another man who would assume kill you as look at you. But at the same time you have to settle down and get your confidence up. There's just so many different emotions on your mind and all your training coming together it's just a really odd yet euphoric moment" says Mucitelli about the feeling one has just before an MMA fight.
Just making it to that stage is a huge accomplishment, especially for a New York fighter like Mucitelli. Of course, there are no sanctioned MMA fights in the Empire State so Mike's road to the national spotlight has included plenty of travel and really being the road fighter heading into other fighter's home turf. No question, for fighters just starting out Mucitelli is an inspiration, but the local fighter out of Tai Kai jiu-jitsu in Liverpool isn't looking at it that way....yet.
"I don't look at it that way yet I like to think I'm just a guy who is going in there and doing his work" Mucitelli says.
No doubt, it's that approach that has Mike on the rise and has the experts raving about his future. Mucitelli had tried out twice for Bellator, but wasn't chosen by the organization. He didn't let that deter him from his dreams as he just kept "putting his nose to the grindstone" and eventually that hard work was recgonized.
His next Bellator fight will be in November, the location and opponent of that fight have not yet been determined.