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Bellator 252 virtual media day Q&A, live streaming updates | ‘Pitbull vs Carvalho’

Fighters are scheduled to start chatting today at 1:30 p.m. ET from inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Pitbull vs. Carvalho media Q&A

Bellator 252: “Pitbull vs. Carvalho” takes place later this week (Thurs., Nov. 12, 2020) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The long-awaited Featherweight title fight between Patricio Freire (30-4) and Pedro Carvalho (11-3) is finally on the brink of taking place.

The fighters are scheduled to participate in what the promotion is calling a “Virtual Media Day” this afternoon (Tues., Nov. 10, 2020), starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Expected participants include:

Daniel Weichel (1:30 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Khonry Gracie (1:45 p.m.) - Bellator Welterweight
Yaroslav Amosov (2:00 p.m.) - Bellator Welterweight
Emmanuel Sanchez (2:15 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Logan Storley (2:30 p.m.) - Bellator Welterweight
Pedro Carvalho (2:45 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Lucas Brennan (3:00 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Patricio Freire (3:15 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight/Lightweight
Aaron Pico (3:30 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Keri Taylor Melendez (3:45 p.m.) - Bellator Strawweight

Selected quotes from the participants on the call will be available below.

Daniel Weichel: “First of all it was very strange to fly back (in March) without fighting, but it is what it is. It was also a very strange situation coming home. From then on I had to adapt to a completely different situation. The gym was closed. Life around us changed a lot. It was closed for two months so training was a lot different. I definitely kept the focus for this fight. I kept my mind straight, my diet straight, and even without the gym I prepared to stay in shape to be ready any time to fight.”

Weichel: “To be honest I’m really not thinking too much about (Sanchez). That’s in the past. What I focus on most of the time is myself and to get myself 100% on to perform the way I want to perform.”

Weichel: “It is definitely a different thing, a five round fight compared to a three round fight. There’s a lot that I’m going through for these five rounds to get the mindset for five rounds. The goal is, what I’m focusing on is, I want to go these five rounds and leave it all out there. I don’t want to be out there in round five and say ‘I could have gone a sixth round.’ I will leave all my energy out there to beat Emmanuel Sanchez.”

Weichel: “It would be great to have the audience, the atmosphere, all the guys there, but I will definitely put on a show for you (the fans).”

Weichel: “To be honest it was very hard to figure out what was happening and when to fight next and what was the plans (from Bellator). There were challenges to bring fighters to the U.S. from three different countries, so that’s one thing that’s out of my hands, I don’t think about that too much.”

Weichel: “I felt like this was the first time in the last 20 years that I haven’t been on the mats for two months and it felt strange. I enjoyed it. I spent a lot of time outside in nature but it was something that wasn’t there in the last 20 years — it was strange but it was good.”

Weichel: “I always ask Scott Coker bring Bellator to Germany, we’ll put on a great show for the fans and around the world. It would be just great to have Bellator as one of the greatest organizations in Germany and it would be my honor to represent Frankfurt, Germany.”

Weichel: “He (Sanchez) evolved as a fighter, his movement is much the same, but I evolved much more as a fighter and compared to our last fight I’m definitely a completely different fighter. Even since March last year (I’m different). I try to become better every day.”

Khonry Gracie: “I personally like to keep it very traditional. I like to train in the gi, but it depends on the scenario and what you’re training for. The closer we get to the fight I have to start taking the gi off and wearing shorts and t-shirts because it’s more realistic.”

Gracie: “I’ll fight anybody Bellator puts in front of me. After I win this Thursday, we’ll see what the next plan is, where we’re going to go from here.”

Gracie: “In order to successfully practice MMA you need to know some kind of jiu-jitsu. To complete your full circle it has to be one of the martial arts. You don’t have to do it all of the time but you have to learn.”

Gracie: “We’ve been doing one-on-ones, private lessons, private classes because of the pandemic. I can’t go to any gyms currently.”

Gracie: “I don’t feel obligated to fight the Gracie way, I just prefer to use jiu-jitsu over any other martial art.”

Yaroslav Amosov: “My style is MMA style. I think Douglas Lima is striking (style). I think my wrestling is better. Douglas Lima, he is every time ready for his opponent and if he have an opponent in wrestling he train wrestling and good defense. If I have a fight with Douglas Lima (though) I’m ready.”

Amosov: “I train every time like it’s (both) my hobby and my work.”

Amosov: “It doesn’t matter for me (if I’m overlooked). If I’m being overlooked by whoever or my opponents that’s really not my problem. How they feel is not my concern.”

Amosov: “Logan Storley is a great wrestler but so far he hasn’t fought anyone who has any wrestling. He’s fought mostly stand up guys. It’s easy to look good (that way). Now he’s going to fight someone who also has wrestling. Now we’re going to change that dominant thought everyone has about him in this fight.”

Amosov: “The goal of my last fight just like in any fight was to win which I accomplished. The doctor didn’t stop the fight for no reason, he did for the damage I did to my opponent, so I’m not disappointed.”

Amosov: “It’s better for me because in striking and in grappling I win four times in the world in combat sambo. I am ready. Combat sambo it is MMA but you’re fighting in a gi.”

Amosov: “It’s good (to represent Ukraine) — I am happy because people in the Ukraine root for me and I have fun. I like it.”

Amosov: “It’s a good place (Uncasville). It’s a good fighter office. All people work (hard).”

Amosov: “Of course it’s good (to be undefeated). I don’t like to think too far ahead. For now it’s just one fight (at a time).”

Emmanuel Sanchez: “(Faith) is all who I am and all who I choose to be. It’s all glory to God in this moment. I’m fortunate and blessed. I’m grateful for all God has done for me to write his story and share his glory with the world. I’m in the position to bless others through martial arts and for that I’m very grateful.”

Sanchez: “My spirit and my psyche more than anything. Growing up as a man and maturing. Now I’m in my prime, just having turned 30 years old, I’m close to that full capacity of being able to use my mind as well as my body. I’ve needed the losses, the injuries, the bad weight cuts and all those experiences so I can go out and shine my brightest.”

Sanchez: “I’m grateful that we’re back and able to make this happen, not just for myself but for all the other fighters as well. Throughout this whole lockdown, quarantine, whatever I was able to grow as a fighter and in spirit and I’m ready to show that on Thursday.”

Sanchez: “I stayed hopeful and was praying for him, for myself, for everyone else for the opportunity to be able to do this. This was such a crazy thing that happened in the world, very unfortunate and confusing. I just stayed positive and I’m a strong man of God so I stayed praying for everyone in the moment. A year long layoff? We’ve got to go through hell to get to heaven. Suffering builds character. It makes that moment much sweeter when I get the victory.”

Sanchez: “God has blessed me with this moment and this opportunity to be on this platform. It is better to give than receive so (with a million) I could help people in children’s hospitals, people who are losing their faith, and do great things for my family and other people who need help.”

Sanchez: “As they say the bull is stronger but ‘the matador’ is smarter. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, the hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”

Sanchez: “When you do look at the brackets, going back to the selection show, I picked the toughest fight — a guy who already has a win over me. With the champion on my side there’s two guys who already have a win over me. It wasn’t meant for me to beat Daniel Weichel in Kansas in 2016, to beat Patricio Pitbull in Israel in 2018, but the stakes are much different now.”

Sanchez: “Triangles everywhere. Whether it’s with my hands, with my legs, or with striking or submissions. I look to finish the fight everywhere. I just believe in my mindset, believe in my greatness, and I know what I’m capable of.”

Logan Storley: “He’s tough. I know he’s tough. He’s an undefeated fighter, so am I. I see a lot of areas that I can win in. To be the best you’ve got to fight the best and he’s one of the top guys right now.”

Storley: “It’s a little bit of both. It’s going to be a lot of transitions from wrestling to striking.”

Storley: “I think it’s just another fight where you want to go in there and come out with the W. There’s a lot at stake for both of us but for me it’s just business as usual. Go out there and dominate for 15 minutes.”

Storley: “I’m ready (for the title). I’m ready and excited. With a great win on Thursday that puts you right up there in that discussion for a title shot. I’ve been competing for a long time so I know what it takes to compete at a high level.”

Storley: “Khabib didn’t lose and look where he’s at. I think you learn every fight whether you win or lose, you learn from situations that didn’t go your way, even though the outcome went your way. I train with some of the best guys in the world and I’m learning on a daily basis. You don’t have to lose to learn and you definitely don’t want to either.”

Storley: “We had to take a little break for a while, everybody had to, but the state of Florida had less restrictions than other places. I got to focus on some things that I didn’t always get to when we’re going from fight to fight.”

Storley: “Mousasi won those wrestling positions, he was big, and his weight took it out of Lima in some of those situations. Mousasi was a bigger guy and did a better job controlling the distance and those positions.”

Pedro Carvalho: “I remember we made a decision, me and my girlfriend moving to Ireland, I needed to get a (factory) job and make some money so we could establish ourselves. I’ll tell you what, it was tough, the first few days I had I would come home and cry like a baby. I said I won’t go back, I won’t go back, my mom helped me a lot. She said you are giving one step back to take four steps forward. Those words helped me a lot. It made me a mentally stronger person. I’ll tell you what though — on the last day of that job I was the happiest man in the world.”

Carvalho: “I quit (my job) because if I didn’t win the (first Bellator) fight I didn’t want in the back of my mind ‘If you lose you still have your job to pay the bills.’ I beat one of the best prospects in Europe, I got a contract, and I became a full time fighter.”

Carvalho: “Of course (Conor McGregor) has an impact, especially when he was training for the Cerrone fight. You could learn just by looking at him. You just have to have laser eyes and if you want it you learn everything.”

Carvalho: “Patricio Pitbull likes to play the victim. He wants to be the humble hero who comes and saves the day against the bad guy. After the fight on Thursday though there will be no villains and no heroes — there will just be me.”

Carvalho: “I’ll tell you this, I was extremely lucky. When the Irish government announced on the day that we’ll go to level five (pandemic restrictions), I was getting ready and packed to go to the U.S. I was extremely lucky on that part.”

Carvalho: “I kept my weight from then (March) until now. I kept on training every day and I’ll tell you what, right now I’m 30, 40, 50 thousand times a better fighter than I was in March.”

Carvalho: “I not only dreamed, I saw it. Everything that I do, I make sure that I do it right, and make sure that I’m improving week after week, month after month to be the best version of myself. I just need one chance, and then things we’ll go naturally. I got that one with Daniel Crawford and after that I got scheduled for the World Grand Prix. I knew it would only be a matter of time. I knew somewhere, 24, 25, 26 I would be world champion. This is only my first step, the beginning of greatness.”

Carvalho: “I will become world champion at Featherweight, I will finish this tournament as champion, and then we will see. I love to fight Lightweight, I can eat more. {*laughing*} Both of them suit me well. I perform the way I want in both divisions.”

Carvalho: “With all the COVID things (training) went way better than I expected. Everyone I needed was there for me, everything I needed, everything got done as we wanted. The results were way better than we expected.”

Carvalho: “It’s not just a little bit, it’s massively, the thing I miss the most about Portugal is the food. Other food compared to Portuguese, nah, not even close. It’s the thing I miss the most when I’m away. That’s why I always gain a few pounds when I go over there.”

Lucas Brennan: “If I’m going to be totally honest I don’t know as much about Carvalho as Pitbull. I’m going to lean toward Pitbull because I like the way he fights.”

Brennan: “Our gym hasn’t been closed a long time. It closed March, April, May and I was still able to train with my brother and some guys. It hasn’t affected me too much. My social life is interactive with guys at the gym.”

Brennan: “I understand they have to do quarantine, I’m not a big fan of it, it’s not great for training but it is what it is. I don’t mind not having crowds. Some guys think it’s eerie but I really like it. I manage it really well. I don’t mind (the restrictions) too much.”

Brennan: “(My nickname?) Maybe I’m biased man but I like Luke Skywalker. That’s me.”

Patricio Pitbull: “We’re professional fighters, that happens in the fight game, we’re both in the same situation (with the pandemic). I spent some time with my family, I learned some new skills, and we’re ready to fight.”

Pitbull: “I was ready for July, I was ready for August, I have a very controlled camp so we can peak at the right moment. Fortunately we’re still in peak form. I’ve been waiting, I’ve added skills, and let’s fight.”

Pitbull: “So Pedro is a really good fighter. He’s a kickboxer, he switches stances, he trains a lot of wrestling. He’s a very formidable opponent in this tournament, but I’m ready for this fight and I’m ready to move on in this tournament.”

Pitbull: “With Michael Chandler’s skills, he can be a champion in UFC, but he can’t beat me because he knows I have his number.”

Pitbull: “I have a lot left to do in MMA. I have a lot of objectives, a lot of new records I want to break for Bellator. Three category champ, records like that, things that have never been done before. There’s a lot of stuff on the horizon for myself and the Pitbull brothers. We have a rivalry with SBG (Ireland). Pitbull vs. SBG is ahead of us. There’s a lot more chapters and a lot more conquering to happen in the future.”

Pitbull: “Cross promotion is the future. It truly is the best way to find out who’s the best in the weight class — and I know I am.”

Pitbull: “The team you surround yourself with is very important. They have to evolve as you evolve. There are generations in this sport. I started ten years ago and I’ve been able to dominate. Now there’s Pedro Carvalho, A.J. McKee, there’s a new generation and I’m dominating them. I’m still dominating them. The team I have around me is the reason I’ve been able to dominate through all the eras. So every new generation comes up saying they want to beat Patricio Pitbull, and they become a new fighter after I beat them. They’re all trying to keep up with me, how I dominate in each era, and you’ve got to have good coaches around you.”

Pitbull: “(Patricky’s) getting treated but he’s not yet cured. This is something that we’ve had in our family before, and we’ve just got to wait for his symptoms to go away. He’ll be back. I’ve had it (labyrinthitis) twice (myself) while fighting. A shoulder to the back of my head on the mat — when I got back to my feet I was seeing three blurry people. It also happened against Joe Warren, seeing three Joes, banging my head on the mat.”

Pitbull: “I haven’t really thought about retiring. Obviously as a fighter one day you have to retired, Father Time is undefeated, but I don’t think about that. I’m in a tougher weight class at 145 where these guys are real fast, and Anderson Silva was in his prime at the same age as me, you can’t stay on top forever that’s obvious but now is not the time to be thinking about retiring. I believe there should be a great, legendary category, a masters category where legends can fight each other. That’s another reason for great cross promotion — legends fighting legends instead of somebody ten or 15 years younger than you.”

Pitbull: “They always separate the Pitbulls’ opponents from us. We’re professional fighters, we’re civilized, but even so the Pitbull brothers always have security by our side just in case.”

Pitbull: “The travel last time, there were problems at the airport, we spent two days at the airport. That actually made the difference for Leandro (Higo) making the cut, so he missed it by a little bit. As for Patricky he told me what was wrong and I felt obligated to cancel the fight. This time there were no problems. We came a day earlier and I’m prepared to fight. I prepared well and I’m ready.”

Pitbull: “I had the option to not fight in this tournament and just fight the winner, but I put myself in it. When I win it everybody will know I’m the best pound for pound.”

Pitbull: “These guys talk shit, then we get to get in the cage and whoop their ass for it.”

Aaron Pico: “I don’t really go back to California that much because all my training is in Albuquerque. I’m permanently in Albuquerque. I don’t see my parents and my family because I’m training in New Mexico, but after this fight I’ll go down and see them for Christmas. My neighbors are great though and a lot of welcoming people have met me in New Mexico. Luckily for me at first I was renting a home and it had stalls in the back yard. Now that I just purchased a home my stalls are being built. Whittier will always be my home but New Mexico is my new home and my girlfriend and I are very very happy. There’s so much to learn about New Mexico and I’m still learning.”

Pico: “My last fight was only two minutes so I didn’t give it much thought (no crowd because) I was really in the zone. When all this COVID-19 is over I hope it can still be ran like this. I’m enjoying the process. You get your own locker room, you’re away from a lot of people, you don’t have to worry about who is in the sauna. Overall I’m really liking this.”

Pico: “What I’ve learned as a fighter is that I’m very strong. I’ve had to bounce back from some devastating losses, but I have a big heart, a strong team that can pick me up (and) I pick myself back up. I’ve come back with two finishes and that’s been great for me. I don’t take anything for granted just because I know what it feels like to lose and I never take winning for granted. Overall I can say I’m strong mentally.”

Pico: “Outside of camp and during camp we’re focusing on everything, but I don’t want to feel like I’m desperate to do one thing. Just let the fight come. When you first meet a girl you don’t want to seem desperate. That’s how I feel about that fight. No, relax. Relax in there. When it’s time to seal the deal, do it.”

Pico: “I’m very competitive. I would love to get back in there (with Zack Freeman) but he’s pretty much done. I take my losses like a man but yeah it bugs the shit out of me that I can’t get a rematch with him for sure.”

Pico: “I really think Pitbull is going to win. He’s top five in the world for sure. I don’t think Pedro Carvalho has fought the level of competition of a Pitbull. He’s a very good fighter and I’ve got nothing bad to say about him but I don’t think he has the ‘oomph’ to beat a Pitbull. Anything can happen in the fight game though. It’s going to be interesting.”

Pico: “Antonio McKee was very influential. He showed me a lot of good things, talked very positively, those guys are family and I wish them all the best of luck in their career.”

Keri Taylor Melendez: “It’s hard having a daughter (for us to both fight) because somebody’s got to spend more time with her. But hey, money talks, if it’s right we’re down for it (to both be on a Bellator card).”

Melendez: “I would like Scott Coker to bring in a tournament, and I could prove I’m a strawweight champion, but this is the last fight on my contract so (if necessary) I’m ready to move up to 125.”

Melendez: “My mental game at home with Gilbert, we’re always analyzing, studying. I’ve made (Emilee King) out to be this monster so I can really really prepare for her.”

Melendez: “I take so much pride in representing women. There’s so many women that came before me that I respect, and I have a ten year old daughter who looks up to me, and who motivates me to do better and represent. There were women who did it for pennies and there’s no me if it weren’t for them.”

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