Pedro Carvalho thinks his division is in need of an interim title.
With Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire on the sidelines due to back surgery, Carvalho (13-7 MMA, 6-4 BMMA) would like to see the promotion implement an interim belt and keep the division moving on a championship level. The Portuguese fighter thinks it’s the right thing to do, given that Freire hasn’t defended his belt since October 2022, and won’t be able to return until March 2024.
“Oh for sure it’s the next thing, the interim belt, because he’ll be out until sometime next year,” Carvalho said Thursday at the Bellator 299 media day. “He’s not going to fight anytime earlier than that. I heard somewhere Bellator is going to do an interim belt, and besides, even if I heard wrong, it’s the obvious thing to do because he hasn’t defended his belt for quite some time, and he’s going to be out for a good bit. So it just makes sense to make an interim belt and not hold the division.”
Carvalho returns against Aaron Pico this Saturday in the co-main event of Bellator 299, which takes place at 3Arena in Dublin. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Carvalho holds Pico (11-4 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) in high regard and believes a win over him should set him up to fight for the interim title if the promotion chooses to implement one.
“It feels good, it feels right being in a fight where I know I’m going to have a fight, it’s exciting,” Carvalho said regarding the matchup with Pico. “I’m buzzing for this one. It’s a fight that I’ve wanted for quite some time. And like I said before, I always want to fight the top guys and prove myself as the top man. This fight is perfect for me to earn my spot as a title contender and fight for the belt.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 299.