Patricky Pitbull doesn’t look kindly on Usman Nurmagomedov’s recent drug failure.
The former Bellator lightweight champion said Nurmagomedov should be stripped of the belt and bounced from the lightweight grand prix for his infraction, which overturned his Bellator 300 win over Brent Primus and resulted in a six-month suspension.
“For me, this is fight is going to be for the title,” said Pitbull, who on Friday faces Alexander Shabliy in the grand prix semifinals at Bellator 301. “I believe he doesn’t still have the belt. The rules is the rules. If he tests positive for drugs, he needs to vacate the belt. That’s the rules – and go out of the tournament.
“It’s an opportunity for another fighter. For me, it’s a bad thing for all fighters in this organization, because he’s still staying in the tournament, and he’s still [keeping] the belt.”
Bellator, currently in advanced negotiations on a potential takeover by rival promotion PFL, has not officially confirmed whether Nurmagomedov will be stripped of the title; Bellator President Scott Coker on Wednesday told MMA Fighting the promotion is waiting for the results of a “B” sample from the test that resulted in the failure before making a decision on Nurmagomedov’s future.
In a statement, Nurmagomedov has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and he and his rep Abdelaziz said the drug positive stemmed from a prescription drug and provided medical documentation to validate his use. Nurmagomedov has agreed to enroll in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) after the positive test, said Andy Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission that flagged his drug positive.
Nurmagomedov rep Ali Abdelaziz has said the fighter will keep the belt and will rematch Primus to re-enter the tournament; Bellator commentator John McCarthy said during the Bellator 301 press conference that Primus will remain in the competition. Pitbull disagreed with rebooking the fight.
“He tested positive, and the fight was cancelled, that means that he failed the drug test,” Pitbull said via translator. “If the fight’s going to happen, it doesn’t make sense. It’s like he never tested positive, because the fight was cancelled because he tested positive, so why would they rebook the fight? It wasn’t cancelled for an injury, it was cancelled for a failed drug test.”
Pitbull lost the Bellator lightweight title to Nurmagomedov when they fought at Bellator 288. Nurmagomedov went on to defend the belt in the quarterfinals of the grand prix by submitting ex-UFC champ Benson Henderson. The no-contest with Primus was Nurmagomedov’s first career blemish in 18 pro fights.
Pitbull stopped Roberto de Souza at Bellator MMA vs. Rizin 2 to advance to the grand prix semifinals against Shabliy, who stopped Tofiq Musayev to earn his semifinal berth.