All the usual star-quality ingredients can be found in heavyweight Tyrell Fortune. Time will tell whether or not he can put them all together.
The undefeated Arizona Combat Sports prospect will carry a perfect 3-0 record into his battle with Joe Hernandez on the Bellator 193 undercard this Friday at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Fortune, 27, signed with Bellator MMA in 2015 and later transitioned to full-time mixed martial arts training following a distinguished wrestling career that saw him excel at multiple levels. He last competed on April 21, when he went the distance for the first time and took a unanimous decision from Branko Busick across three rounds at Bellator 178.
As Fortune makes final preparations for his latest test against Hernandez, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. His amateur resume speaks for itself.
Fortune was a two-time state wrestling champion in high school, captured a pair of junior college national titles and won an NCAA championship at Grand Canyon University -- a Division II school in Phoenix -- before attempting to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
2. He has traveled far and wide in an effort to hone his skills.
Prior to linking arms with Arizona Combat Sports, Fortune spent time training with the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Florida, the same camp that was once home to Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Anthony Johnson, Vitor Belfort, Eddie Alvarez, Kamaru Usman and others.
3. Bellator has eased him into circulation.
All three of Fortune’s opponents thus far -- Busick, Cody Miskell and Will Johnson -- were making their pro debuts when he faced them, and only Johnson has fought since. That will change with Hernandez, who has compiled a 3-2 mark on the region circuit in California.
4. He already belongs to some exclusive company.
Fortune is one of only 16 undefeated fighters on the active Bellator roster with at least two victories inside the organization. Brent Primus, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Michael Page, Ed Ruth, Carrington Banks, Joey Davis, James Gallagher, A.J. McKee, Rafael Lovato Jr., Neiman Gracie, Logan Storley, Jarod Trice, Anastasia Yankova, Jordan Young and Fernando Gonzalez are the others. Fortune is the only heavyweight on the list.
5. Mixed martial arts has become a family affair.
His twin brother, light heavyweight prospect Tyree Fortune, signed with Bellator in August but has not yet made his organizational debut. Like his better-known sibling, Fortune owns a perfect 3-0 record in MMA.