Long Beach, CA — After winning his featherweight title back from A.J. McKee earlier this year, Patricio Pitbull (34-5) secured the first title defense of his third reign as Bellator MMA featherweight champion at Bellator 286 on Saturday.
The fight went according to plan, he told Cageside Press following the event.
“That was what I was expecting. He’s very good, very calm, and I was just trying to see the right moment to act,” said Pitbull. “So that was what happened during the fight.”
Pitbull’s next challenger might have come out of the Aaron Pico vs. Jeremy Kennedy fight earlier in the night, save for a tragic end to that fight. Pico could not continue past the opening round, after injuring his shoulder.
“I saw that fight, that was an accident. His shoulder was dislocated,” acknowledged Pitbull. “I was thinking [Pico] was winning that fight, but sh*t happens sometime. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the division. Maybe Kennedy’s the next opponent. He’s tough too. I’m here to beat everyone.”
Pitbull was greeted by a chorus of boos in Long Beach on Saturday night. Some of that might have been history — rival A.J. McKee hails from the city; Pitbull defeated McKee earlier this year in the pair’s second meeting. Some of it might have been the war McKee and Spike Carlyle put on in the co-main event. It was, to be blunt, a tough act to follow.
“People sometimes want to see a street fight, like A.J. McKee and that guy, Spike. That’s amazing, but it’s like a bar brawl,” Pitbull said in response to the boos. “I’m a fighter, I’m technical. I’m going to take my opponent in the right moment. I’m not going to commit a mistake like that and get tired and make like a street fight. I’m a professional fighter, I don’t care about that.”
“So I just told everyone ‘f*ck you, man.’ I don’t care about that.”
Aside from the potential Kennedy fight, there’s still a trilogy fight with McKee, and the potential of a drop to bantamweight for Pitbull. When it comes to the latter, the Brazilian noted that the 135lb grand prix, and eventual title unification bout— Sergio Pettis, the current champ, is on the sidelines, with Raufeon Stots holding interim gold — has to play out.
“You have to see what is going to happen in this division, and see which is going to be my next step. But I’m ready. I know if I ask for that belt, [Bellator] is going to give me the shot.”
Asked if he would ask for the bantamweight title fight, Patricio Pitbull replied “Let’s do that. I want that belt.”
Watch the full Bellator 286 post-fight press conference with Patricio Pitbull above.