April 22, 2016
With a current 6-2 record in the Bellator promotion, Bessette is still finding himself in a position where he has to impress the big guns. Taking on South Carolina's Keith "The Rockstar" Richardson was the perfect opportunity. With a style that is both exciting and intriguing, Keith was bound to give "The Mangler" the fight he wanted - a war.
Three minutes in to second round, the referee stepped between the two to look at the bloody and battered Richardson. The referee called in the Doctor to look at his opponent's multiple cuts. The Mohegan Sun doctor decided to put a stop to the fight at 3:14 of round number two. Bessette had just improved his record to 18-7 (7-2 BMMA) and further cemented himself as the pound for pound top dog in all of New England.
March 11, 2016
Bessette is facing a last minute replacement in 30 fight veteran Taurean Bogguess. An explosive grappler with 14 of his 18 professional victories coming by way of submission, "Tory" is a handful on the mat. - Not two minutes into the fight, Matt found an opportunity to finish his opponent by triangle choke. Mission Control - meat hook - stuff the arm - triangle choke. Bessette found the finish at 2:42 of the opening round and improved his record to 17-7.
Three days later, "The Mangler" announced that he would be fighting again on the huge Bellator 153 card in 6 weeks at Mohegan Sun Arena.
October 23, 2015
"The Mangler" is back in Bellator MMA at Mohegan Sun and living up to his word, came rejuvenated and reinvented. At 3:47 of round 1, Bessette snatched up a leg of the 32 fight veteran, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, Kevin "K-Rod" Roddy, and ended up finishing by a very explosive heel hook submission; a finish that Matt never previously attempted in an MMA contest, let alone succeeding in finishing the fight with it. This marks Bessette's 16th career win and 6th career win under the Bellator MMA banner.
August 14, 2015
This day marks the beginning of a new chapter in the career of "The Mangler". At just 39 seconds of the first round, Matt was finished with strikes for the first time in his previous 22 fights. Matt had his left kick timed perfectly by a right cross by his opponent, Lenny Wheeler, and the referee was forced to stop the contest due to strikes. A fallen, but not defeated Bessette states that "You'll see a rejuvenated and reinvented Matt Bessette the next time I fight. That's a promise."
June 12, 2015
"The Mangler" signs a 3 fight deal with the Northeast's premier fight promotion, CES MMA, and has been set to take on the very dangerous Khama "The Deathstar" Worthy. The Pittsburg native comes equipped with a huge wingspan and a very dynamic striking game. So, naturally, Bessette embraced the fact that he would get to strike a ton in this fight. And strike they did. Matt controlled most of the action, and halfway through round 2, he landed a cross that sent Worthy face first into the canvas. The referee sprinted across the cage to stop the fight at 2:42 of round 2. Go to my videos page to watch the complete fight!
February 27, 2015
(Enter featherweight wrecking machine, Josh LaBerge). Bessette vs LaBerge was scheduled for 3, 5 minute rounds at Bellator 134, but lasted only two. Both Matt and Josh are widely considered two of the best featherweights in the northeast, and the fight lived up to the hype. Great striking exchanges between the two, eventually leading to Bessette catching Laberge with a strong front kick and a rear uppercut that split LaBerge's tongue wide open. Another cut added to the brow line from Bessette and LaBerge was a bloody mess by the end of round two. The doctor was forced to stop the fight and Josh was brought to the hospital, receiving 12 stitches in his mouth in order to keep his tongue in tact. Matt delivers an outstanding performance in front of the 10,000 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena, putting him back in the win column.
Bessette receives the "2014 Performance of the Year Award", and the "2014 Upset of the Year Award", both for the Diego Nunes fight.
January 5, 2015
Bessette vs Roddy was scheduled for Reality Fighting at Mohegan Sun until a last minute injury forced Roddy out of the fight. Eager to get back in there, Matt signed a fight just hours after Roddy had pulled from the match...
Eager to fix his weaknesses, Matt began training more judo under Serge Bouyssou at Team Mayo Quanchi in Rhode Island. Matt then competed 8 times in 9 weeks in wrestling, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and submission grappling competitions, placing first place in 6 of those 8 tournaments. This grind of competition poured gasoline on the already existing fire located under Matt's ass. He began to approach training differently, and has since evolved into what some would call a "next level."
September 5, 2014
Bessette squares off with Scott Cleve, a two time division 2 All-American wrestler from Colorado. Once again, for the second time in a row, Bessette found success in the striking battle, but was out pointed in the wrestling game. For the first time in his career, Matt had lost two fights in a row.
March 28, 2014
Fresh off the performance of a lifetime against Brazilian phenom, Diego Nunes, Bessette steps on the cage against German submission machine, Daniel Weichel. Bessette was able to find success in the stand up battle but was ultimately controlled on the ground, eventually falling short, losing a decision. Weichel dominated the final round of the tournament against New York wrestler, Desmond Green; earning him a shot at the Bellator featherweight crown.
CureSearch for Children's Cancer publishes an article about Matt and his early struggles with leukemia. Click on Matt's picture to read the article.
February 28, 2014
The first round of the Bellator Featherweight Tournament and Matt is put up against the very dangerous UFC veteran, Diego "The Gun" Nunes. This was a fight for the record books as both guys dropped each other with big shots. Diego landed a beautifully placed flying knee in the first round, and Matt landed a right hand that sent Diego to the canvas and on wobbly legs, in the second round. The third round was a back and forth slugfest that Bellator owner, Byorn Rebney, said he was privileged to be a part of. Matt delivered and came home with the decision victory and is currently one step closer to a Bellator Featherweight Tournament Championship. The next round will feature "The Mangler" versus highly touted German fighter, Daniel Weichel, on March 28th in Salt Lake City, Utah!
September 7, 2013
Matt enters the Bellator cage for the third time, this time against the highly touted Alliance MMA fighter, Nick Piedmont. The fight was short but very high paced. Both fighters exchanging good combinations until Matt lands a huge right hand that sends Nick crumbling to the canvas. A few short left hands later and the referee stops the fight at the 1:47 mark of round 1. Matt improves his record to 12-4 and is offered to fight in the 100K Bellator Tournament!
January 5, 2013
Mohegan Sun and Reality Fighting host "The Mangler" vs "The Candyman" as their main event; boasting record attendance. It's the new year, and people have shown up to watch some great fights! Bessette didn't let the Connecticut crowd down, as he came out guns blazing and didn't hold up until the final bell. Hurting his opponent on a number of occasions, Matt left a lasting impression in the eyes of the judges, resulting in a very one-sided victory. After the fight, Kipp Kollar and the Reality Fighting crew awarded Matt with the "2012 Fighter of the Year" honors, as well as two tickets to Hawaii for a week! Matt, left relatively speechless, could only shake his head and blow kisses to the overjoyed crowd, in what was truly a night to remember.
November 16, 2012
Bellator Fighting Championships invites Bessette back to fight Florida native and Ultimate Fighter alumni, Paul Barrow, at a catch weight of 150LBS. Matt kept his end of the bargain. Unfortunately, Barrow showed up five pounds over the limit. Though he was the much bigger fighter on fight night, Matt showed up to fight, and win. Bessette showcased his evolving clinch game and Muay Thai, bloodying the game Paul Barrow and dropping him with a perfectly placed knee to the liver. Matt walked away with another win, improving his record to 10-4, remaining undefeated in Bellator!
September 22, 2012
Matt's back in the cage sporting his pink shorts and looking to get back on the right track. He faces brown belt world champion, Aniss Alhajjajy in what will be Matt's last fight at lightweight. Matt came out strong and finished strong. Aniss shared his statements after the fight saying, "you are the best fighter in the northeast". This fight put Matt back on the winning track, and with a victory over such a talented opponent, you can be sure that Matt will be even more prepared for his next fight.
June 2, 2012
It's another packed house at Mohegan Sun for the Connecticut native and this time he faces off against the "most dangerous striker in New England". Along with impeccable timing, Andres Jeudi, the Sityodtong prodigy, has a lethal rear kick and Thai clinch. Matt asked for the fight in order to be put to the test against the talented striker. This unforgettable battle will forever be overshadowed by a mistake that will live inside Matt forever. With 17 seconds remaining in a fight that was likely to go his way, Matt threw an illegal up kick while his opponent's knee was still down. Andres wasn't able to continue the fight and just like that, the fight was over by disqualification and by rule. Andres is awarded the victory. Neither fighter left the cage pleased with the way the fight ended, but in sport, there are rules to follow!
April 4, 2012
Matt is awarded Fighter of the Month by NorthEastMMA.net.
March 30, 2012
Matt fights Saul Almeida (12-2), the number one ranked featherweight in the northeast and wins a Unanimous Decision for Bellator Fighting Championships. This victory brings Matt's professional MMA record to 8-3.
January 2, 2012
Considered with all the fights in the North East, Matt is awarded the 2011 Fight of the Year honors for his October 9th performace against Joe Proctor. This is the second year in a row that Matt was given this award (2010 FOTY with Anthony Kaponis). Very few can say the same!
August 9, 2011
Bessette faces number one contender, Joe Proctor, for his Reality Fighting Lightweight Championship. In a back and forth 25 minute fight, Joe edged out a close decision in what people are already suggesting as the Fight of the Year candidate. Matt's official record falls to 7-3, and Joe Proctor is the new Reality Fighting Lightweight title holder improving his record to 8-1. Congratulations to Joe and his team.
July 30, 2011
Matt competed in the North American Grappling Association's Absolute Division, finishing 4th place out of 16 competitors; losing to the 240lb competitor that took first place. He also competed in the purple belt division, taking first place in a talent-rich divisio
July 1, 2011
Matt is given the honor of being on the cover of MMAPhotography Review Magazine!
May 17, 2011
Bessette is announced the #4 lightweight in the northeast and the #1 lightweight in Connecticut www.northeastmma.net.
April 15, 2011
Bessette steps into the cage against the extremely dangerous Renzo Gracie NH fighter, John Benoit. He was ranked fifth in the lightweight rankings at www.northeastmma.net, with a record of 11-2, only to be stopped once before. Bessette took a huge step up in competition in an attempt to make a statement. The fight took place at the Tsongus Center in front of thousands of Benoit fans, eager for their hometown hero to regain his Global Fight League Lightweight Championship belt. Bessette came out first, only to be overwhelmed with boos, the first time Matt had to experience this. Benoit walked slowly to cage with everyone on their feet. The action goes like this.. Bitter ending for Methuen's Benoit ... John and Matt both had some harsh words exchanged before the fight, some taken out of context, only to have the fans on either side of the cage hating each other. "It's an awful feeling, to be hated, but it's a part of the sport. It's a part of life. All I know is that I was able to remember the points in the fight where I gained respect for the guy (John). Not for nothing, but as excited as I was to defeat John, I was also sympathetic towards his defeat, but in the end, John and I were involved in the most hyped and anticipated MMA fight in New England history, and that can't be taken away from either of us. I remember Dan Bonnell, the former GFL Matchmaker/President, telling me that John is actually very similar to myself, a real like-able guy, and that we would probably be good friends if the situation wasn't as such. I wish him only good luck in his future endeavors," says Matt.
February 26, 2011
Matt's Heavyweight teammate/#1 ranked Heavyweight in New England, Parker Porter, defeats local stud, Mike Dexter, at Reality Fighting's Mohegan Sun event. It only took Parker 1:35 before his opponent was tapping to strikes. Congratulations to the newly crowned Reality Fighting Heavyweight Champion, PARKER PORTER!...On the same night Fighting Arts Academy's 135lb machine, Jeff Haddad, put his opponent through 2, 5 minute rounds of hell. The fight was stopped after the second round when his opponent could not answer the bell. Look out for the 2-0 Haddad to make some huge statements in the near future. Good job brothers!!!
December 18, 2010
Bessette competed in his very first superfight grappling match against Jiu Jitsu Nation brown belt and TUF veteran Marc Stevens. The match length was six minutes and Stevens won on points 4-0. Congratulations to Marc on his victory and special thanks to Kipp Kollar of the North American Grappling Association for the great opportunity! Also congratulations to Mike Bartholomew (1st place white belt gi, 2nd place intermediate no gi), Oz Pariser(2nd place expert no gi, 2nd place purple belt gi), and Rafael Quinones(1st place brown belt gi) on their stellar performances!
December 13, 2010
Matt Bessette is ranked the #9 lightweight in the northeast and the #2 lightweight in Connecticut on www.northeastmma.net.
October 9, 2010
Bessette competed in his first MMA championship bout against powerful wrestler and skilled opponent, Anthony "Violence" Kaponis. Matt won a 25 minute war by split decision. The northeastmma.net community recognizes this fight as one of the best fights of 2010. Matt is the new Reality Fighting Lightweight Champion. Matt improved his record to 6-2...Long time friend, Mike Bartholomew fought for the Reality Fighting Middleweight Championship the same night and came up short for the first time in his mma career. Congratulations to the new Middleweight Champion, Jeff Nader. Mike joined Underdog Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the following week in hopes of a new beginning.
July 24, 2010
A week after his seventh professional MMA fight, Matt competed in his first Grappler's Quest. The talent level was very high and several of the absolute division matches can be found in the VIDEO section. Congratulations to UDBJJ teammates Josh Kaplan (1st place blue belt gi), Luke Olk (1st place purple belt gi), Rafael Quinones (2nd place absolute brown belt gi), and Aaron Olk(2nd place brown belt gi) on their memorable performances!
July 17, 2010
Matt Bessette vs Andy Amaral at Plymouth Memorial Hall, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Amaral had already been battle tested with some of the area's top 170lb fighters, including Ryan Shieding and Oz Pariser. This was Amaral's first fight at 155lbs and looked very large at his new weight. Bessette won by a modified guillotine choke (vice choke) in the 2nd round; improving his record to 5-2.
May 29, 2010
Bessette competed in the 2010 NAGA East Coast Championships and took home the Expert Division's championship belt and also took first in the blue belt division submitting the second place fighter by darce choke. Matt had seven fights on the day. These two first place medals on the same day earned Matt his purple belt from Professor Fabiano Teles, the following Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
March 15, 2010
Matt joins Underdog BJJ full time. He will now study brazilian jiu jitsu under Fabiano Teles and study striking under Russell Leak.
January 16, 2010
Matt is at a night out, attending a Reality Fighting event when he is called into the cage and awarded a "Most Outstanding Fighter of 2009" award. Thank you to NAGA President, Kipp Kollar and Reality Fighting matchmaker Joe Cuff.
November 11, 2009
Bessette is back in action for his first fight since the injury he suffered in the Chappell fight and faces Team Strikezone's ground and pound specialist, Andrew Carron (5-1). Matt was able to control the tempo of the fight and come close to finishing the fight by choke in the 2nd and 3rd round. All three judges scored the fight 30-27. Matt improves his record to 4-2 and is back to his winning ways. Special thanks to Kelley Luchs (3-0) for helping Matt prepared for this fight, day in and day out.
February 28, 2009
Matt answers the call against "an opponent that nobody wants to fight." Bessette vs Chappell was awarded the fight of the night at Untamed 26. Chris Chappell was able to secure the victory by guillotine choke late in the final round. Matt falls to 3-2. Congratulations to Chris and best of luck in the future to you and your team.
July 19, 2008
In his fourth professional mma fight, Matt took on Jeff Camara for Reality Fighting. Camara came out of the gate fast and aggressive and scored an outside leg trip takedown. Bessette was able to stand and land some big shots and a takedown to end the first round. The second round was all Bessette, resulting in a bloody TKO victory from back mount. Matt improves his record to 3-1. Congratulations to friend, Oz "The Wizard" Pariser for winning his fourth professional mma fight, improving his record to 4-0. Oz won by gogoplatta with 2 minutes left in the final round...
April 12, 2008
Matt stands and trades punches for a large majority of his 3rd professional fight. Having the crowd on their feet from bell to bell, Andy Labron and Matt Bessette went toe to toe until Matt was able to rock Labran late in the second round with a left hook and score a huge takedown. Matt won by rear naked choke seconds later and improved his record to 2-1. Congratulations to Oz "The Wizard" Pariser for winning his third professional mma fight by submission, triangle choke, in the third round. Oz improves his record to 3-0.
November 17, 2007
Matt competes in his first NAGA event. Not aware of what division he should be in he enters the Beginner division and has four fights total, submitting three of his opponents and winning on points in his final match. Matt didn't allow a single point scored on him in any of his fights. He was called a "sandbagger" although he had only be grappling for 5 months.
September 17, 2007
A small octogon ring in the middle of a large hockey rink. A sell out crowd in Concord, New Hampshire. It's Matt's first MMA fight and he's eager to get in the ring against his opponent, Christian Correia. Every 24 hour day leading up to the fight seemed like forever, but the wait was over. Matt and Christian went at it for 2 and a half rounds until Matt rocked Christian with a huge overhand right and followed it up with a guillotine choke for the tap. The nerves were back to normal and the cheeseburgers were flowing once again. Matt is a professional Mixed Martial Artist and lovin' it! Congratulations to the new Welterweight Champion, Nate Lamotte, with a triangle choke victory in the very first round.