Patricky Pitbull, former opponent of Usman Nurmagomedov, believes the latter should let go of his title alongside his rematch against Brent Primus.
Nurmagomedov failed the drug test and caused a six-month ban, preventing him from entering Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix 2023, with his fight against Primus overturned to a No Contest status. California State Athletic Commission executive Andy Foster reportedly shared that the mixed martial artist had a prescription but failed to apply for it to prevent the decision. Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, shared the details of the drug, which was later affirmed by Nurmagomedov on Instagram.
“The results of my test revealed a prohibited substance that entered my body through medications, prescribed to me by a doctor,” Nurmagomedov’s statement read. “A few months before my fight, I was undergoing treatment, but unfortunately I did not notify the athletic commission in advance.”
Despite the statements, Pitbull believes Nurmagomedov no longer deserves the title and his upcoming rematch.
“For me, this is fight is going to be for the title,” said Pitbull. “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.”
Nurmagomedov fought Pitbull at Bellator 288 in November 2022, but the latter lost via decision. Now, Pitbull will face Alexandr Shabliy at Bellator 301, with reports saying the winner will face Primus for either an interim or vacant lightweight championship title. It seems Pitbull wants to make this final by pushing Nurmagomedov to leave the fight.
“He tested positive, and the fight was canceled, that means that he failed the drug test. If the fight’s going to happen, it doesn’t make sense. It’s like he never tested positive, because the fight was canceled because he tested positive, so why would they rebook the fight? It wasn’t canceled for an injury, it was canceled for a failed drug test.”
Despite the pressure, Bellator is seemingly considering to give Nurmagomedov a second chance. According to reports, the promotion company will wait for the second result of another sample from the fighter before making a long-term decision.