Patricio Pitbull is coming for the No. 1 spot.
On Friday at Bellator 297, the reigning featherweight champion takes on bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis in the main event, with the 135-pound title on the line. Should Pitbull be victorious, he will add Pettis’ title to a trophy case that already includes Bellator belts at 155 and 145 pounds.
Pitbull has compiled a stunning 35-5 record in his illustrious career and he’s coming off of a non-title fight win over RIZIN’s featherweight champion Kleber Koike in his most recent outing.
The 35-year-old currently sits at No. 12 in the MMA Fighting Pound-for-Pound rankings, and if he manages to become a three-division champion, he’s confident that his accolades place him at the very top.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen about that, but I know when the history books are going to be opened, they’re going to see the numbers,” Pitbull said on The MMA Hour. “And everyone will see who is the first guy to have three belts in three different divisions. That’s it.”
“No. 1,” he added via Portuguese translation from coach Eric Albarracin. “Nobody’s been at the top of the mountain for 10 years, like I have.”
Pitbull couldn’t have picked a more difficult test for his first Bellator bantamweight fight than Pettis, who also has questions to answer after being on the shelf with a knee injury. Prior to having to take time off, Pettis defeated Kyoji Horiguchi via a shocking fourth-round knockout in December 2021.
Though Pitbull is aware of the lofty challenge ahead of him, he predicts that he will finish Pettis inside the distance.
“I don’t know, I really don’t care,” Pitbull said when asked for his expected method of victory. “But let’s say I think I’m about to put him down and strangle him.”
A third title would further cement Pitbull’s legacy as an all-time great and he recently told MMA Fighting that he’s not ruling out the possibility of going for gold in the newly announced Bellator flyweight division.
But even if he stops at three, Pitbull’s coach Eric Albarracin believes that the feat wouldn’t just center the fighter in the GOAT conversation, it would place him a notch above.
“Initially I was like, can he make the weight?” Albarracin said. “Then I understood what he’s talking about, about GOATs. None of the GOATs on GOAT mountain have ever got three titles, and I thought if there’s anybody that can do it, it’s him, and that’s when he becomes god-mode activated.
“And there’s one thing about GOATs, it’s that GOATs are sacrifices to gods.”