Patricio Pitbull accomplished something on Friday night at Bellator 132 that had not been done in the previous three Bellator featherweight title fight, the reigning champion walking away with the victory and the Bellator title.
He defeated former champion Daniel Straus by decision and the fight had a little bit of everything. Pitbull was knocked down for the first time in his career, both fighters landed illegal blows, including Straus being deducted a point for an eye poke.
Pitbull (23-2) ended up scoring the third latest stoppage in a Bellator title fight against Straus and he gave his thoughts on the fight, which included him stating that he wants respect from the mixed martial arts community.
“I don’t have any excuses for anyone,” Pitbull said in a statement sent to TheMMAReport.com. “I was able to revert the fight and keep the belt home even with so much adversity. Some things aren’t so easy, people who are outside can’t see or know what exactly is happening in the ring and they can judge the way they want to. But I got eye poked, head butted and also I was hit with several low blows. The knee I landed was clean, but unfortunately my foot grazed him. It just grazed him, it wasn’t a kick to the balls. He used that to rest, but the knee was to his body and he felt it. Then I had to go on and finish the fight again (by submission).”
“I thought it was a fight of the highest level, not only high level. I fought a deserving contender and it was great to my career, to my experience. To be knocked down, fall on the mat, have an eye closed one more time in a fight, open and start bleeding, come back from adversity and get out on top. I analyzed the fight, I really liked it. I thought I was faster than I was, I was feinting more, I was hit, but there’s not every fighter that can do that to me. To me I think I was great, it was a great fight.”
“The fight had everything, there were punches, kicks, clinch battles. It could have less interruptions, but unfortunately those happened. Whoever thinks I’m fighting in a low level can come here and try and take my belt. The first round was pretty even, back and forth. The second I was winning and he lost a point. The third round was all him. The fourth round was back and forth and I won the fight. It was a war and I got the victory, I deserve respect, God damn it!”
Following the conclusion of Bellator 132, Bellator MMA President Scott Coker confirmed that Pitbull’s next title defense will come later this year against Georgi Karakhanyan, who defeated Bubba Jenkins by submission in the co-main event of Friday’s card and the bout is targeted to take place in the summer.
Just like how Straus was a rematch for Pitbull, the upcoming fight against Karakhanyan will also be a rematch. Their initial meeting came in the season four featherweight tournament quarterfinals at Bellator 37 in 2011 and Pitbull won the fight in the third round by TKO.
“We fought almost 4 years ago and back then we were both favored to win the tournament,” Pitbull said. “He had a nice run outside of Bellator and returned after losing his belt. I thought the fight with Bubba Jenkins would be harder but he’s shown the strength of his guillotine. It’s going to be a good fight. I thought Bellator would wait for Daniel Weichel to fight before deciding who I’m facing next, but if that’s what they want let’s do it.”