Sidney Outlaw had a big main event fight, a lightweight title fight, lined up for Bellator 283 this Friday.
Then the bottom fell out from under him.
Three weeks out from the event, champion Paticky Pitbull pulled out of the fight. Now, Outlaw is no longer fighting for a title. He’s no longer in the main event, either, having been demoted to the co-feature against promotional newcomer and former RIZIN champ Tofiq Musayev.
Outlaw (16-4) said repeatedly during Wednesday’s Bellator 283 media day that he was just happy to still be fighting. But, he told Cageside Press, it was disappointing not to be fighting for gold, not to see an interim belt created under the circumstances.
“Yes. You know what, to be honest with you, not fighting, not to be the champion, not to be fighting for the championship belt, very disappointing,” Outlaw admitted.
“When they told me ‘hey, got you an opponent,’ thank you. Because it was either— I was so dumbfounded when that happened. I was like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening three weeks out.’ Maintaining partners, finding partners, putting things together, get in shape, and boom, injury happens. Again. So I’m like ‘alright, it’s whatever.’ Long story short, they found me an opponent, I was happy.” Outlaw knows that injuries are part of the game, and it’s not the first time he’s seen a match-up fall through. “At the end of the day, it’s gonna happen. Inevitable it was gonna happen. I just gotta keep being patient, keep working hard. Putting God first. Focus on that; everything else is secondary.”
Preparing for any opponent is a trial, to do so on short notice is that much more intense. For Outlaw, he trusts both himself and those around him to have him ready come fight night.
“I trust in God, I trust in my own skill set, and I let my coaches do the work,” stated Outlaw. “I’m really horrible at watching film. Really, really horrible. I let my coaches kind of maneuver my body. ‘Hey Sidney, keep your hands up. Hey Sidney, move. Hey Sidney, move to the right a little bit more. Favor your left a little more. Move forward, be patient, yield, shoot,’ all that. Let them tell me, bring it with me to the cage, remember it to the best of my ability, and focus on having fun and putting God first.”
Watch the full Bellator 283 media day appearance from Sidney Outlaw above. Outlaw faces Tofiq Musayev this Friday, July 22, 2022 in Tacoma, Washington.