When Patchy Mix claimed the undisputed Bellator bantamweight title this past Friday night, he ultimately became the final 135-pound champion of the promotion before it was acquired by PFL.
While the deal for the PFL to purchase Bellator had been in the works for months, the fighters found out along with the rest of the world that the purchase was concluded. As of now, Bellator will continue to exist under a separate brand under the PFL umbrella, though all of the fighters under contract will have the opportunity to work with both promotions.
There’s also a plan for a PFL vs. Bellator card with champions from both organizations squaring off on pay-per-view. Unfortunately for Mix, PFL doesn’t actually have a bantamweight division, so that leaves him in limbo.
“It would be cool if they had a dope-ass champion that everyone feared,” Mix said about PFL during an appearance on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “Then I could come over there and run his pockets and beat his ass. That’s what I’m thinking, but they don’t have that.”
Without that option, Mix can’t participate in the champion versus champion fights, but he can still pitch the PFL on his ideal next opponent.
Because he’s already run roughshod over the majority of bantamweights on the Bellator roster, Mix only sees one option that stands out from the rest.
“I have [almost] cleared out the division, one through five,” Mix said. “No. 1, Sergio Pettis, I’ve beat him. No. 2 Raufeon Stots [I beat him], No. 3 is [Juan] Archuleta, No. 4 is [Magomed Magomedov] and No. 5 is Kyoji Horiguchi so I’ve beat four out of five. There’s one guy sitting there, and there’s only one fight to make.
“I’ve been chasing it since the day it happened, and it has to happen. Why not make me versus Juan Archuleta?”
Mix sports a 19-1 record with his lone loss coming against Archuleta in his first title attempt in 2020. Since that setback, he has rattled off six straight wins with five finishes, including his submission victory over Sergio Pettis to claim the Bellator bantamweight title.
Meanwhile, Archuleta has won four consecutive fights, in the process claiming the RIZIN bantamweight title.
Their records set the stage for an epic rematch, and Mix hopes the PFL will grant his wish.
“I’m coming back stronger than ever,” Mix said. “I made mistakes in that first fight that I’ll never make again. I believe I could put him away. That’s what I want to do. I want to fight him. I want to finish him, and I want to right my record correctly again.
“I’m way different now. I’m a butcher in there. Imagine that. What if I butchered and finished him? I’m 20-1, 16 finishes, avenged his only loss, that would be amazing.”
Mix also looks forward to working with the PFL because he just inked a new long-term Bellator MMA deal prior to his fight with Pettis. The contract presumably will tie him to the PFL and Bellator for the foreseeable future, and he definitely isn’t complaining.
“I’m getting paid a s*** ton of money,” Mix said. “I got paid a s*** ton of money on Friday. I signed a new deal, that was my first one on my new deal, and I got paid out very, very good, as a champion should. As one of the best bantamweights in the world should.”
As far as saying goodbye to Bellator — for all intents and purposes when it comes to the old regime under the ownership at Paramount — Mix couldn’t praise them enough.
While the PFL has offered to bring over all of the Bellator employees, including matchmakers and executives like Scott Coker, it remains to be seen what the corporate structure will be once the new version of the promotion launches in 2024.
Whatever happens, Mix can’t thank Bellator enough for giving him the chance to join the big leagues and providing him the platform to prove he’s one of the best fighters in the world.
“It’s like a family. I love them,” Mix said about Bellator. “I love every last single staff member and the ownership. Mike Kogan, he changed my life. I was a kid, I was fighting in King of the Cage, 10-0 with a 20 fight win streak [combined with my amateur record]. My first fight, he put me in Madison Square Garden. I made life-changing money. My mom, my whole family was there. He turned me around three months later, put me in another fight, put more money in my pocket. Then turned me around again, gave me a new contract, flew me to Japan, gave me the opportunity to fight one of the best guys in Tokyo on New Year’s, and then after six minutes in the promotion, he gave me a title shot. Life-changing money there.
“I traveled the world. MSG, Tokyo, Ireland, I fought James Gallagher over there. They put me in the million-dollar tournament, sent me to Hawaii twice, gave me all these world champions. Gave me life changing money. I can’t be grateful enough for these people.”