Patricio Pitbull plotting move down to bantamweight to become champion at third weight class: “To take the legend step”

By Josh Evanoff - September 29, 2022

Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull has his eyes set on bantamweight gold.

Patricio Freire, Bellator, Josh Thomson

The Brazilian has been out of action since his rematch with A.J. McKee in April. In their first encounter, ‘Mercenary’ picked up a first-round submission victory to win gold. In the rematch, Pitbull flipped the script, and re-won his title by unanimous decision.

The 35-year-old is set to return this Saturday at Bellator 286 against Adam Borics. According to Pitbull, the bout will be his penultimate bout at 145-pounds, for the moment anyway. The featherweight titleholder discussed his future plans on Trocação Franca podcast.

There, Patricio Pitbull revealed his plans to move down to bantamweight, and win another world title. In addition to making those plans, the champion also forecasted his final two bouts at featherweight. Those matchups were the aforementioned bout with Borics, and then a showdown with the rising Aaron Pico.

The featherweight champion stated that his bantamweight gold likely won’t be a permanent move. Instead, Pitbull is motivated to earn a championship in a third weight class. Already the featherweight champion, he previously held the lightweight title as well.

Patricio Pitbull

Credit: Mike Straus

“My intention is to clean the division out one more time,” Pitbull said. “I’m already announcing that my next challenger, if God allows and I defend the title against Adam Borics, will be Aaron Pico. I think he’s doing well in the division. I want to defend the title twice — I won’t vacate it, I’ll keep my title, but I’ll try a shot at the one below. I’ll try to be double champion one more time, this time going down instead of up.” (h/t MMAFighting)

“I already told [Bellator] internally and they liked the idea,” Pitbull continued. “When I talked to them before, they had the [bantamweight] grand prix going on and I really couldn’t be on it. I’m short but I’m very compact. My legs are very strong, my upper body is thick, the neck … I would need proper work for a fight [at 135] but not a grand prix, where I would have to make weight several times one after the other. But for a title fight, to take the legend step, I think it works.

He concluded, “…If there’s someone to defend the title and it makes sense, I’ll defend it but only if it’s a challenge. Challenges are what move me, really. If there’s something interesting, we’ll go there and get it done. But staying in this division [forever], to me, it’s impossible.”

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Bellator Patricio "Pitbull" Freire