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Cobb relishes Bellator opportunity

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

November is a month we set aside to express our thanks.

From the newsfeed on Facebook to the annual feast with family and friends, the month is dotted with reminders to be grateful for what we have not what we want. Count St. Louis middleweight Darryl Cobb among the most appreciative.

Cobb will fight Friday on the main card of Bellator 80 against hard-hitting Brett Cooper (16-7).

He is particularly thankful for this high-profile card placement because it comes despite being caught in the middle of a four-fight losing streak.

"This is a career changing fight," Cobb said. "I have been given this opportunity to really move forward in my career."

Cobb, out of Andre's MMA, is 5-5 and has fought one time for Bellator prior.

Bellator 80 takes place Friday night at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. The MTV2-televised main card follows prelims on

It appears that Cooper (16-7) is a fast-rising star in the organization. He is on a 5-2 run, that includes Bellator wins over Valdir Araujo and Jared Hess.

"He's a knockout artist," Cobb said. "He's liked to bang ever since he's been with Bellator."

Cobb lost to Andrew Sanchez at the August Fight Hard event.

"That loss, that was nobody's fault but mine," he said.

Cobb has lost four straight and hasn't won since April of 2010. He started his career with a 5-1 stretch that included two wins for Strikeforce.

"I'm humiliated by that," he said of the current streak. "But a week after I lost my last fight, I got this call."

The most important change has been training full time. Cobb put his complex schedule on pause for six weeks of pure commitment.

"I wasn't giving 110-percent," Cobb said. "Instead it was more like 50."

During that time he ventured west to workout under the watchful eye of Antonio McKee at McKee's BodyShop Fitness Team in Long Beach, Calif. McKee is lauded for his ground-game wizardry which was just what Cobb needed a jolt of.

Cobb has always had electricity in his hands it was that he needed to sharpen his complete grappling game.

Bellator 80 is headlined by Owen Evinger vs. Joe Warren. In a featherweight tournament seminfinal, Wagnney Fabiano takes on Rad Martinez and Vinicius Queiroz and Alexander Volkov meet in a heavyweight tourney semifinal