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Pedro Carvalho wanted Patricio Pitbull for opening Grand Prix bout: ‘I believe I’m the best in the world’

Pedro Carvalho (center) competes in the opening round of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix this Saturday at Bellator 226
Bellator

Pedro Carvalho’s name was pushed forward by a staggering amount of fans and SBG teammates to get a place in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

After compiling a 3-0 record with the promotion in a year, the call finally came through and this weekend he is set to face UFC veteran Sam Sicilia in the opening round of the bracket at Bellator 226 in San Jose, Calif.

Carvalho’s coach John Kavanagh recently claimed that the Portuguese fighter could go the whole way in an interview with MMA Fighting. It’s clear that Carvalho shares his optimism as he recently revealed that he would’ve chosen to fight champion Patricio Freire to kick off his tournament run if it were up to him.

“If I could’ve picked, I would’ve picked the champion, so I could’ve started the tournament as a champion,” Carvalho told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “What better way to start the tournament?”

“I’m just being me, I was never any different. I know what I’m capable of and I know that I have trained to be the best in the world. I believe I’m the best in the world, and like I’ve said before, a guy who believes he’s the best in the world, he cannot have problems to fight anyone in his division or in the world. If he believes he’s the best in the world, he believes he’s better than any of the other guys, so he cannot have problems to face anyone. I have absolutely no problems with facing any of the other 15 guys.”

Carvalho praised Sicilia’s fighting spirit, but underlined his belief that none of the fighters in the tournament bracket will be able to live with the pressure he intends to put on them.

“I’m pretty happy [with the matchup]. Sam is a really experienced guy; he’s a UFC vet, he’s a warrior and I really respect guys like that who go out there and put everything on the line,” said Carvalho. “Stylistically, I think it’s a really good matchup for me and, like I’ve said before, him and the other guys are going to face a pressure that they’ve never seen before. They’re going to see someone in their faces constantly like they’ve never before. They’re going to crumble… they’re all going to crumble with that pressure.”

Although he underlined that he would have wanted to fight him in the first round of the tournament, Carvalho expects champion Freire to make it through to the final of the competition… provided he doesn’t bump into him along the way.

“If [Pitbull] doesn’t get me in the quarters or the semi-final, I’d say he has a pretty good chance [of getting to the final]. He is a beast, he is a proven champion. He’s not a guy that’s picking names and then won a belt; he’s a proven champion. He’s proven that he’s really good and I think he has a strong chance to be in that final.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Pedro Carvalho interview begins at 11:30.