Patchy Mix is brimming with confidence ahead of his upcoming fight against Raufeon Stots in the finals of the Bellator bantamweight Grand Prix. The circumstances surrounding this version of the Grand Prix were unique, as reigning champion Sergio Pettis was forced to withdraw due to an injury. This resulted in Stots winning the interim title in the opening round and successfully defending it throughout. However, Mix is determined to change all that and come out on top as the Grand Prix champion, as well as the interim bantamweight champion, and take home the $1 million grand prize.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Mix shared his thoughts on his path to the Grand Prix finals, which has seen him emerge victorious over some of the toughest opponents in the bantamweight division. The 29-year-old fighter first defeated Magomed Magomedov, a formidable opponent who had only suffered one loss in his professional career before facing Mix. In the semi-finals, Mix took on former champion Kyoji Horiguchi and secured an impressive win, earning his spot in the finals against Stots.
“I’m glad it’s him [Raufeon Stots in the finals] cause you know, I want that on my record. I want a win over him on my record, I want a finish over him on my record, and next Saturday night, I’m coming to either knock his a** out or submit him.”
Speaking about his upcoming bout, Garbrandt expressed his desire to finish Kara-France in a way that will generate buzz on social media platforms. He stated that he believes his skills and fighting style will produce a highlight-reel knockout that will be shared and talked about by fans and media alike.
I’ll be tagged all over Showtime, WorldStar, and everything else next Saturday night after I strangle this little motherf*cker, so just look out for me…hashtag my name next Saturday night…and I’ll be all over the place cause I’m in for a sensational moment and I’m coming for this guy’s neck.”
In the world of combat sports, it’s not uncommon for interim champions to be crowned when the reigning champion is unable to defend their title due to injury or other circumstances. Typically, the interim champion will go on to face the reigning champion in a title unification bout when they return to action. However, in the case of Bellator’s bantamweight division, the situation is a little different.
Instead of waiting for the return of the reigning champion Sergio Pettis, the winner of the bantamweight Grand Prix final between Patchy Mix and interim bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots will get the chance to fight the winner of the upcoming bantamweight title fight between Pettis and featherweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire. This means that both Mix and Stots will have the opportunity to fight for the championship, regardless of the outcome of the Pettis vs. Freire bout.
For Pettis, his return to the cage after being out of action for over a year will be a tough test. He is set to face off against ‘Pitbull’, who is looking to make history by becoming the first three-division champion in Bellator’s history. If ‘Pitbull’ emerges victorious, he will undoubtedly be a formidable opponent for either Mix or Stots.
Speaking of Mix and Stots, they won’t have to wait too long for their chance at the championship. The Pettis vs. Freire bout is scheduled to take place at Bellator 297 on June 16, which means that the winner of the bantamweight Grand Prix final will have a clear path to the championship soon after.
It’s an interesting situation for the bantamweight division in Bellator, and it adds a new layer of excitement and anticipation for fight fans. Regardless of who emerges victorious, there will be plenty of drama and excitement surrounding the championship bout.