Looking back on her 2022, flyweight Jena Bishop couldn’t be happier with how the year turned out.
Having set a goal for where she’d like to see her record end up by the finish of 2022, Bishop was able to not only achieve that goal, but also get signed to Bellator and begin to take the next step in her career.
“I think last year was about as good as it could,” Bishop told MMAWeekly.com. “I was hoping to get at least to that four fight mark by the end of the year, and it really gave me the opportunity to move up to the big stage.
“Finishing the year 4-0 and then getting the call from Bellator you can’t get much better than that.”
Having come from a grappling background, Bishop has been working hard to develop the other parts of her game and believes she was able to make strides in becoming a more complete fighter in 2022.
“I’m pretty happy with the way things have been going,” said Bishop. “I’ve been able to continue to develop my game and become a well-rounded fighter and not just a grappler.
“Being a grappler is my favorite thing, but I’ve made a lot of progress as far as my stand-up goes and being better at striking and being a lot more comfortable. Having fights that have challenged me to work on that and get better at it, I’ve been happy with my own personal growth as an athlete.”
On February 25 in Dublin, Ireland, Bishop (4-0) will seek to keep her undefeated streak going when she takes on Elina Kallionidou (9-4) in a preliminary 125-pound bout at Bellator 291.
“I’m really excited for this fight,” Bishop said. “it’s my Bellator debut and it’s a big fight on an awesome card, and I think that my game is getting to the ground and show my grappling skills, but as long as I’m decent and smart and do all the things my coaches has been working on with me it will be a successful debut.”
Being undefeated and making strides forward in her career could add a lot of pressure to Bishop’s journey, but she doesn’t let it get to her, and instead focuses on her improvement.
“I try not to think about it too much,” said Bishop. “I don’t like to get it in my head or let all those things affect the way I’m fighting or the way that I’m training.
“It’s awesome to have that record and there’s definitely some pressure to stay undefeated, but everybody feels that way, so as long as I’m getting better and I feel like my skills are there that’s really what my focus is on. I want to be the best I can be every day and not let everything else get in my head.”