PFL Champion Jesus Pinedo Reflects On Cinderella Story

Jesus Pinedo

MMA is full of stories straight out of Hollywood, and reigning PFL champion Jesus Pinedo is one of those.

Pinedo came back from the depths of being eliminated to secure the $1 million check and featherweight title this past November. In the finals, he finished Gabriel Alves Braga for his 22nd career victory.

“I was just thinking, ‘I did it. I did it. I’m finally champion,'” Pinedo said during an interview with MMA Junkie. “It’s something I’ve dreamt since I was a kid.

“It was a dream come true. That’s what I yelled, ‘I’m the champion.'”

But this was the biggest to date for the native of Peru.

Back in the season opener, Pinedo suffered a split decision defeat at the hands of Braga that put him in a must-finish situation.

And that is exactly what he did.

Squaring off with reigning champion Brendan Loughnane in June, Pinedo earned a first round knockout after connecting with a knee that planted Loughnane.

He would secure a spot in the playoffs, besting Bubba Jenkins to reach the championship round and a rematch with Pinedo.

“Yes, I feel like I’m one of the best in the world,” Pinedo said. “I’m the champion of one of the best organizations in the world.

“I’m in the best phase of my career and I want to take advantage of that. I want super fights. I want the best.”

Jesus Pinedo Sees Patricio Pitbull In His Future

Earlier in his career, Pinedo competed twice for the UFC, besting Devin Powell before falling to John Makdessi. From there, he bounced around the regional scene before landing with the PFL in 2023.

Now, he could be positioned for a champion vs. champion showdown with Bellator’s Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

“Without a doubt the biggest name I’ve faced,” Pinedo said. “He’s a legend of the sport.

“I’d be extremely happy if the fight happens. I’m ready, I’m very happy about the opportunity. I always watched him fight. I’ve been watching him fight for many years.”

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