MMA/UFC

Patricky Pitbull ‘sad’ with potential Bellator sale but ‘already thinking’ about PFL fighters

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Patricky Pitbull | Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Patricky Pitbull has mixed feelings ahead of a potential Bellator sale to rival company PFL.

The former lightweight champion has called Bellator home since 2011, competing under that banner 24 times and representing it on multiple occasions in cross-promotion matches in RIZIN. On this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca, he wouldn’t be happy to see Bellator get sold.

“I get sad that the name of the organization would end because of the people there, the friendships I’ve made in the organization for more than 10 years,” Pitbull said. “I go there and I give them a hug as if they were from my family, sharing stories and pictures from old fights.

“It’s also sad because we don’t know how the treatment would be [at PFL]. The treatment my brother and I have in Bellator is unique. We can talk to the matchmaker, the right-hand man of the organization as if they were close friends too. We talk like that to everyone in the organization.”

The Brazilian veteran looks on the bright side, though, as a potential Bellator-PFL merger would mean brand new match-ups, especially in stacked divisions like 155 pounds.

“[The sale] is sad because you wonder how it’s going to be, but as for the challenges, I think that’s good,” he said. “I can do different fights, good fights against opponents from [PFL]. I’m already thinking about them. Let’s see how that goes.”

With PFL and its unique season format possible waiting in the future, Pitbull shared his only criticism about the company: seeing longtime friends and training partners Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio fighting each other and how the company handled the situation.

“I didn’t like it,” he said. “I’ve trained with Raush, he has helped me to fight at Bellator, and having to fight someone that has helped you a lot — I know that’s work and this is fighting, but that sucks. To fight a brother that has the same dream of yours, that’s something I don’t want to happen.”

It’s a long road before he get there, though. Pitbull is currently slated to face short-notice replacement Roberto Satoshi in the main event of Bellator MMA vs. RIZIN 2 in Saitama after A.J. McKee withdrew. The winner will advance to the grand prix semifinal to battle Alexandr Shabliy. The other semifinal match features champion Usman Nurmagomedov and Brent Primus.

Pitbull won’t look past this weekend’s match but already sees Shabliy as a “gigantic” challenge waiting ahead. If he does make it to the tournament final, Pitbull anticipates a rematch with the man that took the Bellator title away from him in November 2021.

“Usman [beats Primus],” Pitbull said. “Usman is a very talented kid, a talented Russian who knows how to use his length and has great wrestling. I think it’s going to be a good fight with Primus, and he wins [because] he’s more complete.”

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