Updated: Oct 14, 2020
The Academy standout middleweight, Mark "Pockets" Gardner (1-1), has signed to take on Pennsylvania based fighter, Dalton "Hercules" Rosta (2-0). The bout will be on the undercard of Bellator 243 on August 7th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. It will be a middleweight contest, which will be new territory for Rosta, as he's fought his entire career at light heavyweight.
Gardner will have his hands full, thats for sure. Rosta went 7-0 in his amateur career, winning all of his fights by KO/TKO, and has since carried that streak over into his young professional career with Bellator. He's 2-0 with Scott Coker and crew, both wins by TKO stoppage. Rosta is a wrestler by trade, but he's shown to be heavy handed on the feet and the mat.
"Pockets" has a slick submission game that has evolved while training under Jay Jack and Amanda Buckner at The Academy in Portland, ME. Gardner went 3-0 as an amateur under the NEF banner, and started his pro career on a positive note with a win over a tough CJ Ewer at NEF 37. He dropped his 2nd pro fight to #3 ranked MW Reginaldo Felix (6-3) in a 1st round TKO loss. Gardner had a fight scheduled for October that was scrapped, and with that cancellation he hasn't fought in almost a year in a half, so we'll have to see if there's any ring rust as he steps into the biggest opportunity of his young career.
Congrats to "Pockets" for a huge opportunity to showcase his skills on the big stage! New England will be pulling for you.