Patrik Pietila is the clear underdog heading into his Bellator 269 fight with Usman Nurmagomedov.
Not that he minds. “I love to be an underdog, I love to prove people wrong,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press during this week’s media day. “And I love to show them that I’m the real deal, and it’s nice to shut them up.”
Taking on a fighter like Nurmagomedov in Moscow, part of Bellator’s first trip to Russia, “of course it’s like a huge opportunity, but I’m not going in there and thinking of his last name,” Pietila (11-8) stated. Instead, the Finnish fighter noted that when it comes to the Dagestani family, “they’re all different people, and I’m going in there with only one thing on my mind, to win the fight. It doesn’t mean anything to me, what his last name is.”
One benefit, arguably for both fighters, will be the 160lb contracted catchweight. “Absolutely, because I need to travel [to] Russia, and all the other things,” he said when asked if the extra 5lbs made things easier. “So it’s much easier to get down in the weight. I haven’t had any real problems to get down in 155lbs, but this works much better now.”
As for the difference between himself and Nurmagomedov’s first 13 opponents, all of whom have come up short, Pietila opined that “he’s really skilled, he’s a young talented fighter of course. But if you look at his previous opponents, they’ve been smaller, and they haven’t had the reach advantage that I have against him. And I’m there to push him all night long.”
Watch the full Bellator 269 media day appearance from Patrik Pietila above. The event takes place this Saturday, October 23 at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. More coverage can be found below.