Pedro Carvalho is looking to shake off a couple losses when he takes on Daniel Weichel at Bellator 270 this Friday.
The featherweight has dropped his last two fights to Patricio Pitbull and Jay Jay Wilson, the former in a title fight as part of the promotion’s recently completed featherweight grand prix.
Coming off of those setbacks, “my game changed really, really drastically,” Carvalho (11-5) said during Wednesday’s Bellator 270 media day. “I think, I’m kind of a 180 degree change kind of thing, for good. For really good.”
Carvalho has said more than once that while it’s never good to lose, “at the same time, I think it was the best thing in my career so far. Because right now, I think I’m the very best version of myself, and if it wasn’t for the losses, I would never be able to realize that and open my eyes about that.” And open his eyes about the other things he needed to work on, he added.
When it comes to the focus of those recent changes, that led to him doing a 180, Carvalho told Cageside Press that one key area was “my striking. Because before I lost my fights, I just considered myself a MMA striking fighter.”
Carvalho said that previously, he simply did a bit of pad work, then focused his time on “takedown defense, grappling exchanges, scrambles, this and that. Then I realized ‘man I’m a really good grappler.'”
“Meanwhile my last two losses were on my feet,” Carvalho continued. “So something was wrong. That was the main thing. I kind of switched the focus. I kept focus of course on my grappling game, but I gave a way bigger focus on my striking game. Because I know I’m a really good striker, but if you don’t train how much you should, you’re going to lose things.”
That Carvalho’s losses came to then-champ Patricio Freire and the undefeated Wilson, who came in heavy, shouldn’t be overlooked. The Portuguese fighter admitted that “it depends on the point of view. Overall, maybe yes. Of course we are talking about probably the pound-for-pound best, or one of the pound-for-pound best featherweights of all time, that is Patricio [Pitbull]. And yeah, Jay Jay Wilson is an undefeated guy.”
Carvalho went on to add that “in my point of view, maybe not. Maybe I’m being too harsh on myself, but in my point of view, I still believe I’m the best in the world. That’s why I train, and in my point of view, I should beat them, but I was childish, I was immature in those fights. One in the cage, the other leading into the cage, that I just rushed too much and too soon getting into another fight after the Patricio fight. And I paid a price. But to be honest, that doesn’t really matter to me, because every time I’m here, I’m here to win, I’m here prove a point, I’m here to prove who I am, and how real I am when I say that I’m the best.”
Heading into his fight with Daniel Weichel this Friday, Carvalho feels happy again, he continued. “I feel I’m in the right spot mentally. I didn’t feel like this for a long time, and I’m really happy, I have no doubts that this Friday will be the best performance of my life, and for me that’s all that matters.”
Watch the full Bellator 270 media day appearance from Pedro Carvalho above. More coverage of the event can be found below. Bellator 270 takes place Friday, November 5 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.