Rising Brazilian fighter Reinaldo Ekson hopes PFL circles back around.
While he was a winner at PFL Challenger Series 4, he wasn’t the biggest. Fighting for the chance at a contract and entry into the 2022 PFL season, Ekson (18-5) was passed over for former UFC fighter Boston Salmon, who earned a deal instead. Despite this, he’s not bitter.
“The experience to fight on the Challengers Series was wonderful,” Ekson told MMA Junkie through a translator. “I was treated like a king by everyone involved. They were helping us through everything, worried about every little detail. I really hope I get called back because it felt like home. Better than home.”
Currently on a four-fight winning streak including his Challenger Series unanimous decision over Mike Barnett (11-4), Ekson is unsure of his next move. PFL has the rights to him for a short period of time and he is hopeful the promotion swings back around to him.
“I think my story with the PFL is only beginning,” Ekson said. “I see myself getting bigger wins, putting on exciting fights and getting that million dollars check. The contract gives them the option to keep me around, so I’m waiting on their final decision. All that is on my mind right now is to make it to their regular shows.”
Likely an underdog if he joins the featherweight pool, Ekson doesn’t think a championship run is out of reach. A main sparring partner of “The Pitbull Brothers” Patricky and Patricio Freire, Ekson has decided to remain in the United States and train at world-renowned gym Fight Ready MMA – just in case the PFL wants to give him a call.
“Coach Eric Albarracin called me to stay at Fight Ready and be available to help the ‘Korean Zombie’ for his fight with Volkanovski. I trained with him a few times since and other guys at the gym. They have a nice structure and I’ve met nice people. … I train with the best Featherweight in the world, Patricio ‘Pitbull,’ on a regular basis. I’ve been a sparring partner for him and Patricky for over 3 years and it brought my game to a whole new level. You can be sure if an opportunity opens up for me at the tournament, I’ll do everything in my power to get that prize.”