Matheus Mattos is the latest member of the Pitbull Brothers team to sign with Bellator, MMA Fighting has learned.
The Brazilian bantamweight competed on the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil in 2015 and fought under the ACB and Jungle Fight banners before signing with the North American company. Mattos has only lost once in 14 professional bouts, a third-round stoppage to future UFC contender Petr Yan in Russia.
Bellator has yet to schedule Mattos' promotional debut.
Mattos (12-1-1) has “high expectations” for his future with Bellator, which serves as the home for teammates Patricio Freire, Patricky Freire and Leandro Higo.
“It’s the culmination of a 12-year career in MMA,” Mattos told MMA Fighting. “I moved to Natal, have new home and new team, and now I train with Patricio, the best fighter in Bellator history. Patricky is also someone I look up to.”
“Adamas” hasn’t fought since March 2018, when he beat Nashkho Galaev via majority decision. Mattos was returning to the cage just six months after suffering a broken orbital against Yan and ended up fractured his jaw versus Galaev. According to Mattos, he fought in “autopilot mode” against Galaev and has no recollection of the last round or even his post-fight interview.
“This is the chance of a lifetime, the opportunity I’ve been waiting and preparing for,” said Mattos, who turns 28 this week. “I have great training here, (Henry) Cejudo and (Kelvin) Gastelum were training here not that long ago, and we have captain Eric Albarracin giving us a great wrestling background.”
Five years after losing to TUF Brazil 4 season winner Reginaldo Vieira and going back to the regional circuit in his native country, Mattos celebrates a shot in the big league.
“Now I feel prepared to be part of such a big promotion,” Mattos said. “Both physically and mentally, I’m better than ever after going through everything I’ve experienced. I was 10-0 in Brazil and went to ACB, one of the toughest places to fight. I had the best fight of the year in 2018 and feel ready to be part of Bellator now.
“I’m more mature now, and that made me decide to come to Natal and be a part of this great team. Patricio and Patricky are in the prime of their careers and they keep evolving every single day. They get better both physically and mentally and the whole team grows with them. Now I feel I have what it takes to enter Bellator and become champion there.”
Watch Mattos’ last fight below.