Bellator’s recent success in Grand Prix style tournaments has been nothing short of phenomenal. In the thick of the welterweight WGP, we are in the opening stages of the featherweight WGP, a 16-man field will quickly dwindle down to eight at Bellator 228 in Inglewood, California. But could this tournament see an early shift in champions with a Juan Archuleta victory over, current featherweight champion, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire?
“The Spaniard” Archuleta (23-1) headlines Bellator 228 against Pitbull (29-4) looking to end the champion’s four-fight win streak and win the belt. The Spaniard, currently on a five-fight win streak of his own, knows how big this fight is.
“This fight doesn’t need to be sold,” he stated.
“It doesn’t need to be trash talked. You just have two guys … willing to go out there and be pressure fighters and put on a lot of offense and make a good night for the fans,” he continued.
Ahead of his title fight, Archuleta spoke about both he and Pitbull being pressure fighters. He discussed why he doesn’t like fights going to the scorecard.
“You’re okay with losing if you’re offensive, right?” he asked.
“You’re not okay with losing if you said ‘well what would’ve happened if I had done this?’ I think that is why a guy like Pitbull goes forward. He knows it is going to hurt … just like I know the same thing. I know that type of style is going to bring a lot of pain and injuries, but it’s worth it. It is why we go in there and lay it on the line.”
So the will to win is alive, but the Spaniard also knows the importance of having a winning fight camp. Unlike some fighters, Archuleta likes to watch fight films on his opponents. This fight against Pitbull will be no different.
“We watched a lot of fights [on Pitbull],” Archuleta admitted.
“I knew I was going to be fighting him. So I was geared to a game plan for a huge fighter and that being Pitbull this fight. So we spent some time watching how we would fight him and had a great camp thus far and we are going to show it,” he finished.
In the end, Archuleta believes he will take Pitbull into deep water and secure the victory in the championship rounds.
“I want to make him not answer the bell,” he simply stated.
“Come third, fourth or fifth round I want to work my ass off so bad that he is so tired that he, physically, can’t answer the bell,” he finished.
Catch Bellator 228 in Inglewood, CA Saturday Sep. 28 on DAZN.
LISTEN TO JUAN ARCHULETA BELOW: