By Ray Hamill — Arcata’s Cass Bell will make his second appearance at a Bellator event late next month, on the undercard of the big showdown between Rory MacDonald and Gegard Mousasi at the SAP Center in San Jose.
Bell, who had a successful professional debut at Bellator 199 three months ago, also at the SAP Center, was invited back to appear at what he describes as “the biggest Bellator of the year.”
Having defeated Khai Wu the first time around, he will now match up with a more seasoned pro in Ty Costa, who comes into the fight at 4-3 and has been fighting professionally for six years.
“He’s experienced. He’s been fighting for a while,” Bell said of the San Francisco fighter. “And he’s supposed to be a really good wrestler.”
Bell has the advantage of having seen some recent tape on Costa, who is 3-1 in his last four fights dating back to 2015, including a TKO win over Christian Espinosa in late July.
“I’ve been watching tape. He fought three or four weeks ago, so I was able to study that, which was awesome,” Bell said. “So I got to see his strengths, I got to see his weaknesses.”
Bell fights out of the Institute of Combat in Arcata, where he has been busy preparing for the upcoming fight under the direction of trainer John Thompson and his background team.
He also believes the experience of having previously fought at a Bellator will help him this time around.
Bell and his Humboldt fanbase have proved to be a big draw for the Bellator brass.
“Last time I brought almost 200 friends and family out of Humboldt,” he said, describing his view from the cage as a “sea of green.”
“They’re saying I brought more people than the main event guys,” he added.
At Bellator 206, Bell will fight as part of a 17-fight card, matching up with Costa in a bantamweight fight.
Topping the card, MacDonald moves up a weight to battle Mousasi for the Bellator middleweight title, attempting to become just the second multi-division champion in Bellator history.
Bellator 206 takes place on Sept. 29. Tickets are still available, but are selling out fast, according to Bell.
IOC fighters get set for busy fall
It looks like it’s going to be a busy October for the Institute of Combat.
In addition to Bell’s big fight at the end of September, several more MMA fighters out of the Arcata gym will be in action over the following month.
Tyson Miller, Journey Walker, Coulton Smith and Israel Smith are all slated to fight that month, while another gym member, Gabriel Smith, is gearing up for an appearance in the boxing ring.
The gym continues to grow, according to Thompson, recently adding more mat space to go with an expanding membership, as well as a new cage that will be unveiled within the next week.
The IOC offers a variety of different classes for adult and youth members, including wrestling, jiu-jitsu, kick boxing, mauy thai, boxing and MMA/self defense.