Ever since Patchy Mix first arrived in Bellator, he’s dreamed of becoming the company’s undisputed bantamweight champion. On Friday night, he’ll get his second opportunity to capture that title, but it might also be the last chance he’ll ever have to compete for the promotion as rumors continue to swirl about Bellator’s looming demise.
With Showtime announcing plans to get out of the combat sports business at the end of 2023 and parent company Paramount speaking to potential buyers about a sale, Bellator appears to be teetering on the brink of extinction. That’s a hard pill to swallow for many of the athletes who built their careers in Bellator, which includes Mix after he signed with the promotion in 2019 as a 10-0 prospect.
“I love Bellator,” Mix told MMA Fighting. “Coming from not having much, a kid from Buffalo, N.Y., and getting to sign with one of the biggest promotions and fighting in Madison Square Garden for my debut, that was amazing.
“I’ve traveled the f****** world. Ireland, Japan. I fought close to home a couple of times in Connecticut, being from New York. I went to Hawaii twice. I won a million dollars in Hawaii. So you know I’m not complaining about the promotion.”
Anything is possible, including a buyer purchasing Bellator and then keeping the organization intact for the time being, which obviously affects Mix and every other fighter on the roster.
It’s distraction that Mix doesn’t want to even contemplate right now, especially with his showdown against Pettis looming just days away.
“Right now, I’m going to be looking at it, November 17,” Mix said, “I win this undisputed world title, I’m 19-1 with 15 finishes. It’s a record that no bantamweight has. I’m just trying to add to my credentials and create my legacy. This is going to be a big part of it.
“The easiest fight of my life, the hardest fight of my life, I’m prepared for a war and I’m ready for 25 minutes of anything. That’s what I’m thinking about.”
Major sales like these have only happened a handful of times in MMA history — usually involving the UFC buying a rival promotion — but there a lot of unknowns that surround Bellator’s future and the fighters under contract there.
Maybe that means just moving to another organization, or perhaps it’s just competing for a different owner under the same Bellator banner.
Mix can’t say for certain what the future holds, but he expects to make himself a very hot commodity with another impressive win against an opponent like Pettis on Friday.
“No matter where I go, I’m going to get paid,” Mix said. “I’ve got the best manager in the game Ali [Abdelaziz] and the best team, Dominance MMA. No matter where I go, with my stats, my credentials — who’s to say where I will [end up] if [Bellator] gets sold or who it gets sold to. I don’t even know how any of this stuff works.
“All I know is I’ve got a contract on that date. I guess it’s exciting for everyone else to look in from the outside and think about it, but what’s more exciting than me versus Sergio Pettis? I think this is the best version of Sergio Pettis right now. I’d say top five, top three [in the world], and I get the opportunity to test myself and prove to the world, and to prove to myself more importantly, what I know — that I’m the best.”