Patricio Pitbull stakes claim as Bellator’s best ever fighter with a stunning destruction of Pablo Carvalho.
Patricio Pitbull put in another emphatic, dramatic shift as champion with 130-seconds of demolition in the cage to stake his claim as Bellator’s best ever fighter with a stunning destruction of Pablo Carvalho at Mohegan Sun Resort.
With the victory, Pitbull marches into the semi-final of the featherweight tournament against Emmanuel Sanchez, also a victor on the card. The Brazilian was lauded with accolades after the performance from across the sport, many observers placing the fighter, now at the peak of his powers, as one of the leading lights in the sport.
Pitbull also holds the Bellator lightweight title after victory over Michael Chandler, who has now joined the UFC.
Bellator 252 saw the featherweight tournament finally resume after an eight-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Pitbull defending his title in style against rising Ireland-based SBG star Carvalho, of Portugal.
The challenger began on the front foot, looking to use his sizeable reach advantage to swarm Pitbull and push the pace. The risky strategy failed to pay off, however, as Pitbull fought masterfully off the back foot and connected heavily on his opponent several times in the opening exchanges.
Pitbull was comfortable picking Carvalho off and eventually finished the Portuguese fighter with a short left hook.
“It’s always possible. Get the right on the chin and keep him standing,” Pitbull said after his win. “I knew that. (Emmanuel) Sanchez is tough, I expect that, now he’s more dynamic and I like his style. I can’t wait to fight him again.”
The featherweight king will take on Emmanuel Sanchez in the semi-finals after the ‘Matador’ secured a convincing points victory over Daniel Weichel in their long-awaited rematch on the same card.
Sanchez was out for revenge with a 2016 defeat to Weichel on his record and took charge of the contest from the first bell, opening the fight with an ambitious flying knee.
Weichel struggled to match Sanchez’s striking over the five rounds and hit the canvas in the second after eating some punishing body shots.
The German managed to survive the round but continued to be dominated by Sanchez on the feet, who was the clear winner on the scorecards.
Sanchez, 30, will be brimming with confidence when he takes on Pitbull in the next round.
Pitbull is another rematch for Sanchez long in the making, as the two featherweights first clashed in 2018 with the Brazilian coming out on top.
The co-main event saw Yaroslav Amosov just about retain his undefeated record in a razor-thin battle with Logan Storley. The Ukrainian fighter was on the defensive for much of the first round, but still managed to land some shots and improved in the second.
Storley was an unbeaten fighter and appeared on the brink of submitting Amosov in the third when he took his rival’s back. Amosov, however, fought off a series of submission attempts before edging Storley on the scorecards 28-29, 29-28, 29-28.
American prospect Aaron Pico stole the show on the prelims with a ferocious knockout over John DeJesus. A perfectly timed overhand right in the second round landed flush on the chin of DeJesus, who went crashing to the mat before referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in to end the ground and pound.
Pico, 24, moved to 7-3 in his career and looks set to finish 2020 with three wins on the bounce after a disastrous losing streak in 2019.
Patricio Freire def. Pedro Carvalho – TKO round 1
Yaroslav Amosov def. Logan Storley – SD split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Weichel via unanimous decision
Aaron Pico def. John DeJesus – KO round 2