Two division Bellator MMA champion Patricio Pitbull successfully defended the featherweight title against Juan Archuleta in the co-main event of Bellator 228, while also advancing to the quarterfinals of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.
Pitbull would then choose to defend the title against Pedro Carvalho this March in the second round of the grand prix, which is a choice that former Bellator MMA Bantamweight Champion Darrion Caldwell believes Pitbull made in an attempt to dodge him.
“I don’t think he’s dodging me,” Caldwell said at the Bellator 228 post-fight press conference (via Dave Doyle & Ken Hathaway of MMA Junkie). “I think he’s dodging, uhh … yeah, I think he’s dodging me. Let’s be honest.”
Caldwell will now go on to face Adam Borics in a grand prix quarterfinal round bout this January, but still has the opportunity to face Pitbull in the finals.
The former bantamweight champion also believes Pitbull chose Carvalho to avoid facing other fighters as well.
“I think it was strategic on his part,” Caldwell said. “Three fighters that he don’t want to fight: myself, Adam (Borics), and A.J. (McKee). So, I think his coaches did a good job of strategizing and putting him on the (opposite) side. I just gotta get Adam and take him in the first round.”