Tyrell Fortune building brand, in no rush in Bellator Heavyweight division

November 7, 2019

Bellator heavyweight Tyrell Fortune is ready to build his brand whether it be MMA or boxing.  He’ll take the next step in his MMA career as he takes on former UFC heavyweight Azunna Anyanwu Friday night as part of the Bellator 233 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

The former Olympic hopeful is 7-0 and is looking to extend his undefeated streak in MMA. However, Fortune is also considering boxing as he is entertaining offers to box.  Fortune notes that he’s already sparring a lot of heavyweight boxers and thinks it’s a logical step that he put on the gloves for pay.

Courtesy of Bellator MMA

But before he enters the boxing ring, he’ll discuss the move with Bellator.  “Before my last fight, they [Bellator] were all about it and then after [the fight] they did not want me to do it.”  Fortune submitted his last opponent, Rudy Schaffroth, via rear naked choke this past August.  Wanting to capitalize on his undefeated record, Fortune got back in the gym to train looking for his next opportunity.

Fortune, a Portland, Oregon native is currently training at Arizona Combat Sports.  He also trains with current Bellator Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader.  “I definitely pick his brain,” said Fortune of his time working with the double champ.  Even though he could eventually be on a collision course with Bader in the future, Fortune is not thinking about it at this point.  “I’m in no rush,  I don’t mind taking these guys out,” said Fortune of fighting his way up the division.

Fortune has a decorated amateur wrestling career with a couple junior college titles and a Division II Wrestling title while at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.  He then made a run at the Olympics in freestyle wrestling for Rio de Janeiro in 2016.  After falling short of his goal, Fortune made the transition to MMA in the same year and was signed as a prospect by Bellator.

In his previous fights, Fortune had been sponsored by Nike, a relationship that was born during his amateur wrestling career.  Originally from Portland, Oregon, and with the company headquarters in nearby Beaverton, it made sense that Nike would scoop up a young prospect like Fortune.  He notes he’s been sponsored by them since he was 14.  However, that relationship recently ended.  “I just recently stopped working with them,” indicated Fortune.  “They are not diving headfirst into MMA.”

Tyrell’s brother, Tyree, is also on the Bellator card on Friday fighting in the Prelims.  Tyrell said that he will definitely watch the fight prior to getting ready for his on the main card.  Tyree, also undefeated at 4-0, trains out of Portland, Oregon.  “I haven’t trained with my brother but we do share that camaraderie in the sport,” Fortune added, “[w]e do take and analyze fights together and I think that definitely helps.”

Light heavyweight Tyree Fortune fights against 2-0 Chuck Campbell on the undercard of Bellator 233 Friday night while brother Tyrell fights on the main card.

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