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Patricky Pitbull sees potential storybook ending: ‘It’s perfect if I win the tournament and finish my career’

“The job is very hard. The injury, the mind, the body, it’s veyr tough. I don’t know. Let’s see what has happened. But if it has good money, we’ll try a little bit more.”

Patricky “Pitbull” Freire is in hot pursuit of regaining the Bellator Lightweight title and a $1 million prize.

Brazil's Pitbull brothers have been synonymous with Bellator throughout each of their lengthy and memorable careers. Each has held gold and are record-holders to varying degrees. While only one year the elder to his little brother, Patricio, the 37-year-old Patricky can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Pitbull most recently made his return to Japan for a quarterfinal clash in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix against the current RIZIN champion, Roberto "Satoshi" de Souza. Scoring a third round technical knockout victory, Pitbull advanced to the semifinals, inching himself one step closer to what could make for a perfect swan song to his 36-fight 18-year career (25-11).

“I don’t know, man. It’s hard,” Pitbull told MMA Mania on BROADENED HORIZIN when asked about retirement. “The job is very hard. The injury, the mind, the body, it’s very tough. I don’t know. Let’s see what has happened. But if it has good money, we’ll try a little bit more.

“It’s perfect if I win the tournament and finish my career,” he continued. “I think it’s gonna be wonderful. But I don’t know. When you take the belt and take $1 million, a lot of things change. It’s too much [talking]. ‘Don’t stop, man. Take more money.’ It’s crazy, but let’s see. Let’s think about the next fight (laughs).”

Despite the Satoshi match up coming together on just a few days' notice, Pitbull was unphased and ready for everything. Originally set to battle his brother’s old rival and the former Featherweight champion, A.J. McKee, “The Mercenary” was unfortunately forced out of the bout after being dealt a nasty staph infection. Should the fight be a possibility at some point after the tournament, Pitbull would still love the challenge.

“Yes, of course [I’d still like to fight him],” Pitbull said. “A.J. McKee is a tough opponent. He called to me for two years, something like that. I’m ready, but first I need to finish the tournament and beat the next opponent, the Russian guy, and keep strong. Let’s do it. Doesn’t matter who the next [is]. I just want to fight. I say to Bellator I’m ready for October, but the card is full. Don’t have big injury, I’m ready, I keep training.”

The Satoshi triumph got Pitbull back in the win column after a tough unanimous decision defeat to Usman Nurmagomedov in Nov. 2022, dropping the Bellator title. Nurmagomedov has already carried the crown into the semifinals as he'll face a former champion, Brent Primus, at Bellator 300 on Oct. 7, 2023. Pitbull expects his past opponent to get the job done, hopefully aligning for a rematch in the finals.

In the meantime, Pitbull will next have to get through Alexander Shabliy at a date to be determined.

“Shabliy’s a very tough opponent. He’s a tough fighter,” Pitbull said. “I don’t know, man, I don’t know. It’s hard to say something, but he’s tough. I just wanna keep training hard, believe in myself, believe in my job, and believe in my hands, maybe my flying knee. I just believe in my name and keep trying hard.

“He’s a — You know, a lot of Russians is a tough opponent,” he continued. “He’s a complete fighter. Stand-up, striking, I think he’s more [of a] striker than a wrestler. I saw some fights he did [and had a] very good strategy. He did the wrestling and put his opponent on the cage, on the ground, controlled the fight. So he’s a very smart fighter. But I’m ready for everything. I will train for everything. Doesn’t matter who is the next opponent. Just wanna win this tournament. That’s what I think about all time.”

Watch the full episode in the video embedded above or listen on Spotify.


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