For lightweight Matt Bessette, the past year has only seen him manage to get into the cage once due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but as is his nature, he is not one to dwell on what he’s potentially missed but rather on what he was able to do with the time he’s had.

No matter the circumstance, Bessette has kept training and kept developing his game, so that when he’d have a chance to fight again more consistently he’d be ready to hit the ground running.

“I’ve kind of always been the person who takes things as they come, and deal with any kind of roadblocks that come your way as a professional,” Bessette told

“I’ve stayed training. If there was a mask mandate I wore a mask, if the gym was shut down I made my own gym at home and stayed training. I didn’t really take any time off. It didn’t affect me too much.”

One thing in particular that Bessette feels like he was able to improve over the last year and a half has been his stand-up game.

“I’m a martial artist first so I’m always trying to get better every single day,” said Bessette. “It’s just part of my life. I’m always looking to be a better person, well-rounded everywhere, and part of that is martial arts.

“I did a lot of bag work, and a lot of shadow boxing, so my striking got way better, and I’m very excited to showcase that.”

On September 17 in Hartford, Connecticut, Bessette (24-10) will look to become a multi-division title holder when he takes on late replacement Ryan Dela Cruz (12-7) in the 155-pound championship main event of CES 64.

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“He’s probably a little bit more well-rounded (than my original opponent Bruce Boyington),” Bessette said of Dela Cruz. “The only thing that makes it difficult for a fighter like that is that he hasn’t fought the type of competition I have or the competition Bruce has, so it’s kind of hard to tell where he’s at. But that being said I know where I am.

“I’m going to go out there and do what I’ve done the whole time; everything that I’ve been practicing and training since I stared back in 2007 is going to come to a point and I’m going to go out there and fight.”

With how things have gone over the past several months, Bessette is just taking things as they come with the remainder of 2021, whatever those opportunities present themselves may be.

“It’s always been kind of one day at a time,” said Bessette. “I do look ahead and I know what’s ahead, and I’m excited for the future.”


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