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Veta Arteaga aiming to secure another title shot with win in ‘dream fight’ at Bellator vs Rizin 2

For true mixed martial artists and professional fighters, having a fight in Japan isn’t just nostalgic paying respect to where the sport really began, but it’s a bucket list item for many. For fighters like Bellator MMA flyweight Veta Arteaga, fighting in Japan is a dream come true, and with an opportunity to upset a top contender in Kana Watanbe and jump into the title picture, it’s all lining up perfectly.

A former title challenger, Veta Arteaga knows that her matchup against Watanbe in the Bellator vs Rizin 2 event on July 29, offers her the opportunity to get back into title contention, where she knows she belongs. Only a select few were chosen from the Bellator MMA roster to compete in the event, and Arteaga is taking pride in having her name chosen for such a high-stakes opportunity. Speaking to MyMMANews.com, Arteaga discussed her desire to get back to a title fight, what it means to fight in Japan, and more.

When it comes to having the opportunity to fight in Japan, Arteaga said it’s a dream come true to not just go there but having a chance to compete is extra special, especially representing Bellator MMA in this crossover event with Rizin FF.

“I’ve always wanted to go, but knowing I’m competing there, it brings something to my heart. It means a lot, Bellator is a great organization to fight for, they have treated me so well and I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I have had the opportunity to travel and this has always been on my list and the opportunity came to me, and I couldn’t deny it.”

With her opponent Kana Watanbe currently ranked third in the division, Veta Arteaga knows a victory not only catapults her to the top of the division’s rankings, but also she knows that she deserves to be in the title picture and is eager to get another opportunity at the belt.

“It’s a little bit of everything, all of the above. I’m going in there to win, I’m going in there to show my skills and to dominate and to show, I do belong here and I want another title shot, so I got to do it. I’m really excited and really happy for this. I am taking everything with some grace and it’s one fight at a time. I don’t want to get too carried away, thinking too much about the future but I know where I’m headed and I’m headed to the top but it’s with one fight at a time. I know that this fight will get me to one step closer to what the overall goal is.”

Artega believes that the matchup against Watanbe is one that she matches up well and while she expects her opponent to look for more grappling in their matchup, she’s prepared for everything that may come her way. The attention to detail in preparation comes from lessons learned in previous fights where she believes fighting to decisions, ones that have gone her way, and ones that have gone against her, have molded her into where she is today.

“There’s no losses, there’s only learning experiences. I feel like that’s a cliché thing to say but at the same time I feel like cliche things have some truth to them, so you learn rather than lose. I know that I can hang in there for 15 minutes, there’s no doubt in that, I know that I have grit, I know everything that I have, you can’t really teach. What you can teach is technique and so I definitely am going to apply that, be the technician that I am but also with that grit that I know that I have. I’m really excited to go and compete.”

Coming into this fight Veta Arteaga will be listed as the betting underdog (currently listed as +350) but she’s not fazed or paying any mind to the odds as she has been successful in the underdog role in previous fights. Without paying much attention to the odds, Arteaga knows that every fight is just more experience gained.

“It’s just so weird cause I feel like this whole experience of fighting, that’s what fighting is, it’s all experience. Every fight is an experience, from my amateur career to my professional career. From fighting through COVID when there was no crowd and now fighting when I’m not the crowd favorite, everything is just an experience and I have just grown as an athlete, every fight I just keep getting better. Even from my last fight, every practice I’m better, I see how I’m evolving and growing as a human and as an athlete. As far as the rankings go, they matter but they don’t, I just have to show up, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Showing up knowing she’s getting better every day with an opportunity to get back to a place where she knows she belongs as a title challenger and having the opportunity to show it on a dream stage fighting in Japan, Veta Arteaga is ready to cement her place in the division.

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