Patricio Pitbull has a tough task in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix, not only trying to win the tournament, but also defending his featherweight championship in every fight along the way. Pitbull made that dangerous work look easy when he scored a first-round knockout of Pedro Carvalho on Thursday in the main event of Bellator 252.
The fight, which took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, didn't take long to begin to fall into a rhythm. Carvalho had suggested he was going to be aggressive from the opening bell in this fight, planning to wear Pitbull down and finish him in the later rounds. Instead, Carvalho's aggression led him to run into heavy punches from the champion, each one seeming to buckle the challenger's legs.
Just over two minutes into the fight, those crushing shots finally shut down the system of Carvalho. Pitbull threw a heavy left hook that likely would have finished the fight on its own, but a follow-up right hand removed any doubt, causing the referee to jump in and halt the bout at the 2:10 mark of the opening frame.
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"It's almost impossible for a human being to take my right on the chin and keep standing. I knew that," Pitbull said after his victory.
Earlier in the night, Emmanuel Sanchez put on a very impressive performance in beating Daniel Weichel by unanimous decision. That win advanced Sanchez to the tournament semifinal where he will meet Pitbull. The two have already faced off, with Pitbull winning a unanimous decision in 2018, but he doesn't believe Sanchez is the same fighter he faced two years ago.
"He's very tough," Pitbull said of his upcoming fight with Sanchez. "Now he's more dynamic and I like his style. I can't wait to fight him again.
In the other semifinal fight, AJ McKee will face off with Darrion Caldwell. Those two will battle on Nov. 19 with a trip to the finals and a shot at the featherweight championship on the line.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the evening for the latest updates, highlights and results from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with our live blog below. Stay tuned for updates all night long.
Bellator 252 card, results
- Patricio Pitbull (c) def. Pedro Carvalho via first-round knockout, advances to Grand Prix semifinals
- Yaroslav Amosov def. Logan Storley via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Weichel via unanimous decision (48-46, 49-46, 49-45), advances to Grand Prix semifinals
- Aaron Pico def. John de Jesus via second-round TKO (punch)