Justin Montalvo didn’t wait long
The lightweight received confirmation he earned a Bellator contract immediately after his first-round TKO victory over Corey Samuels at Bellator 274 in February. He signed on the dotted line less than two weeks later on March 2.
Montalvo is here to stay after inking a four-fight deal with the promotion.
“After the fight I was immediately told about the contract,” Montalvo said.
“They [Bellator] told my manager they wanted to talk to him on Monday, that’s what they said. I was like, ‘That’s clear as day, that’s a contract.’”
Justin Montalvo earned his keep
Montalvo is a rising unbeaten prospect with four of his five victories coming by first-round TKO. His only decision win came in his Bellator debut where he defeated a seasoned Jacob Bohn by unanimous decision at Bellator 272 last December.
The 25-year-old returned to the promotion just two months later against Samuels. Samuels surprised Montalvo early in the first round with a high volume of strikes.
Montalvo stayed composed and rallied back with a flurry of punches that put Samuels to the floor. The Longo and Weidman MMA product made quite the case that he is a prospect worth investing in.
“It’s a dope feeling,” Montalvo said. “I know there are tougher fights, harder competition, so I’m doing the best I can to stay in the best shape I can to deliver these awesome fights for the fans, training my ass off and reaching new limits.”
👊🤯 @JustinMontalvo brings us our first TKO win of the night and improves to 5️⃣ & 0️⃣ as a pro.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) February 19, 2022
Montalvo enters a division with a newly crowned champion and a lot of contenders waiting for their crack at the belt. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire put the division on hold for over two years while he competed in the featherweight grand prix tournament.
Pitbull vacated the title last October before his brother Patrickey “Pitbull” Freire finished Peter Quelly by TKO to claim the lightweight crown one month later.
Montalvo is two fights into his Bellator career and is outside of the top 10 rankings, but the young prospect is excited for the tests ahead.
“I like to stay old school to myself,” Montalvo said. “I respect everyone and I know opponents are going to get tougher, so it’s my job to get better. When I’m presented with the fights I get, I’m going to do my best every time.”
The journey ahead
The newly signed lightweight fought three times in 2021 and is already one fight deep this year. Montalvo is eying a return to the Bellator cage in June.
Montalvo earned his way onto the Bellator roster. Now marks his climb to the top of it.
“It’s exciting, it’s the best in the world. If I’m the best, let’s bring it and show them I’m the best,” Montalvo said. “I’m going to come to kill every time, it’s going to be a journey.”