Since their first meeting in 2018, Patricio Pitbull and Emmanuel Sanchez had both remained perfect. In their rematch on Friday, that would change for one man. The featherweight pair topped the Bellator 255 card, with 145lb gold and a spot in the featherweight grand prix finale on the line.
The fight headlined Bellator’s debut on Showtime. And it did not disappoint in the end, with yet another big finish for Patricio Pitbull.
Emmanuel Sanchez had found early success in his first meeting with Patricio Freire. In the opening round Friday at Bellator 255, Pitbull held center, with “El Matador” circling on the outside. A calf kick by Sanchez hit home, perhaps testing the waters. A second followed. Pitbull threw to the body, Sanchez responded with a high kick. The low kicks would continue, for both fighters. There was a very conservative pace to the opening round, but Pitbull would fire his right hand as part of a combination later in the frame. He’d then drop Sanchez with a left hand, and when Sanchez got back up, Pitbull caught him in a guillotine.
Sanchez was caught. He was also out, though the ref seemed unaware until Pitbull informed him of it. With the submission, Pitbull became the first man to submit Sanchez, and the first to stop him period. He also set up the long-awaited showdown with the undefeated AJ McKee in the featherweight grand prix.
#AndStill @PatricioPitbull retains his featherweight title and advances in the #FeatherweightWGP.#Bellator255 #BellatorOnShowtime #MMA pic.twitter.com/3yBGfRZskV
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) April 3, 2021
Official Result: Patricio Pitbull def. Emmanuel Sanchez by technical submission (guillotine choke), Round 1, 3:35