Adil Benjilany, moving, says he hit the “bottom”


UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – For 15 months, Adil Benjilany woke up every day and visualized coming back to the cage.

In 2020, Benjilany (6-3 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) was part of a big roster purge by Bellator that left him jobless. Despite the difficult situation, Benjilany chose to continue training in the hope of a rebuild. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Benjilany struggled to find fights, but he never gave up hope.

“I hit rock bottom, and when you hit rock bottom there’s no other way but to go up,” Benjilany told MMA Junkie at a post-fight Bellator 262 press conference. Friday. “A lot of people have abandoned me. They make you feel like you are done. “You were an MMA fighter, but now (you are) not. “

Earlier this year, Benjilany took the break he was hoping for. Bellator needed a featherweight – and the promotion gave Benjilany a place on Bellator 262 against Johnny Soto. In Friday’s prelims, Benjilany defeated Soto by unanimous decision. After the fight, Benilany thanked those who sacrificed themselves and allowed him to bounce back.

“I feel bad for my family, especially my wife… and my brother and my family,” Benjilany said. “I retained my family. I couldn’t level up (or) take my family to the next level because of my dream. I have a dream. My wife, she believes in me and she supports me. Our life (was on hold) for 15 months. We weren’t doing (nothing). We did not buy a house. We had no children. Nothing, because (of me). I hardly see her. I see her once a week, believe it or not. We have a date night on Saturday. Because I wake up in the morning, go to work, and come back and go to the gym two to three times a day. I never see her, so I want to thank her and tell her that I love her so much.

Looking ahead, Benjilany is determined to continue his ascent to the title race. By the end of 2022, Benjilany expects to be in the title conversation.

“I’m still working my way and I’m not going to give up on my goals,” Benjilany said. “I’m telling you. If you hit rock bottom, no one is going to come and save you except yourself. I did. I’m so proud of myself.”

The Bellator 262 took place at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday. The main card aired on Showtime after preliminaries on MMA Junkie. To see Benjilany’s full interview, watch the video above.

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