Bellator champ in limbo with brand new contract

Who's getting left out in the PFL's acquisition of Bellator?

By: Zane Simon | 2 weeks ago
Bellator champ in limbo with brand new contract
Patchy Mix celebrates his win at Bellator 295. | Matt Davies / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

News of Bellator’s sale to the PFL has been this week’s big story in the combat sports world. For fighters in the formerly Paramount-owned promotion, the reactions have largely been positive. It seems Bellator talent is pretty excited about the potential of combining rosters with their now sister promotion over on ESPN+.

That said, the shakeup likely won’t leave everyone positioned for the better. For one, it sounds like the new Bellator will be running a lot fewer events than previous. And while the idea of some champion vs. champion ‘bragging rights’ bouts seems like it could make for fun spectacle, the PFL and Bellator’s divisions don’t entirely overlap.

Patchy Mix talks new Bellator contract, hopeful future

Principal among the fighters who might find their opportunities curtailed by the merger is Bellator’s bantamweight champion Patchy Mix. Mix is fresh off a rear naked choke submission win over Sergio Pettis at Bellator 301 (the promotion’s final card before leaving Showtime). In a recent interview the 30-year-old detailed his fresh new contract and what might be in store for the future.

“I’m getting paid a ****-ton of money,” Mix revealed. “I got paid a ****-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.”

Without a clear path over to the PFL right now for Mix, his principal hope is that the PFL will give him a rematch with only man to defeat him inside the cage: Juan Archuleta.

“I have [almost] cleared out the division, one through five,” Mix said in a recent interview for MMA Fighting’s ‘The Fighter vs. The Writer‘ podcast. “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?”

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Archuleta’s weird contract deal

There may be at least one reason that the PFL can’t go ahead with a Patchy Mix vs. Juan Archuleta 2 title fight. Juan Archuleta hasn’t been competing for Bellator for the last year. In that time, ‘The Spaniard has gone 3-0, fighting under the RIZIN banner in Japan. Bellator and RIZIN have had a talent sharing agreement in place for years, creating multiple opportunities for high level fighters to cross over and compete both in America and Japan.

In an interview back in May, Archuleta detailed how that agreement had worked wonders for his career.

“I couldn’t ask for a better position than I’m in now,” Archuleta explained. “Especially after losing the title fight in Hawaii, going into Japan, it gives me the extra motivation to keep going forward. After you lose a title fight it is draining on you. Then I got this opportunity, now I’m super stoked.

“How many fighters have you seen basically rented out for the year to another promotion?” he added. “Yeah, they’ve done fights here and there, but to actually say like — I’m still signed with Bellator but I’m fighting for RIZIN. I’ve made history in this type of deal that they’ve done. I’m the first fighter that’s ever done this. I’m excited to do my part and go and win the title then going back to Bellator.”

In that same interview, Archuleta explained how he’d like to win gold with RIZIN and then come back to Bellator and unify the titles, just like Kyoji Horiguchi did. The 36-year-old completed the first leg of that task back in July, defeating Hiromasa Ogikubo to win the RIZIN bantamweight championship. With a title around his waist, will he be eager to jump back into a new Bellator that might not even recognize the belt?

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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