As Jordan Young looks ahead to the next chapter of his career with PFL, he has mixed feelings about his time with Bellator.

Young (11-1) spent the past three years and seven fights under the Bellator banner. He looked to be a major prospect, winning his first six bouts, including a stretch of five consecutive submission finishes. He stumbled in the final fight of his contract, though, and lost a decision to Julius Anglickas at Bellator 233 this past November.

Entering free agency off a lackluster defeat wasn’t part of Young’s plan, of course. He said he fought injured and that contributed to his performance, which he felt was negatively used against him in negotiations. When he sat at the table with the Bellator brass, Young said his frustrations with the organization were magnified and he opted to move on.

“I was looking to increase my worth and fell short a little bit there, then on the back end of that fight I needed hip surgery,” Young told MMA Junkie. “I don’t do excuses and (expletive), but I got MRIs. I got three MRIs from 2019. They all shown a torn hip. I tried doing everything, but it backfired on me. I didn’t get the job done. It’s not like Bellator wasn’t interested, but the numbers weren’t adding up for me. I’m not interested in taking steps back or doing anything that’s counterproductive to my career.

“Let’s throw two things out there. Look at the kid that beat me. He beat me, and you haven’t heard (expletive) about him. No promotion for the kid. He’s sitting on the sidelines, and I’m going to fight before he does, and I had a hip surgery. The lack of promotion is something serious over there. I feel that. I’m a young, up-and-coming star and I’m looking to remind people of that with PFL.”

Young said his free agency discussions included MMA’s four major promotions: UFC, Bellator, PFL and ONE Championship. He thought PFL offered the most to him at this point in his career because competing in the 2020 season could allow him to fight up to five times in six months, and also offers the biggest immediate financial reward with a $1 million prize at the end.

The UFC was definitely a consideration in Young’s mind, he said, but ultimately he thought the timing wasn’t right.

“When I go to the UFC, I want to be prepared to be there to stay,” Young said. “It’s not that I don’t think I’m ready now, but I feel I have more steps to take. I don’t want to be a guy in the UFC that doesn’t own a house yet, that doesn’t have his (expletive) together, and then I’m forced to take different steps and try different things out because I need the money. When I go to the UFC, I’m going to be set. I’m going to have what I need to have, and regardless of what happens in my fights, I’m going to be taken care of.”

Young said he has a good perspective on what he needs in his career right now, and that’s why staying put with Bellator wasn’t a realistic option. Young said he’s appreciative of the experiences he gained fighting under Scott Coker’s brand, but he does have some issues with how business is done.

A fighter like Young, who appears to have the talent, personality and mindset to thrive in the sport, should have been pushed much harder, he said.

“A lot of people don’t know who I am across the MMA community because they haven’t had the opportunity to see me,” Young said. “At 25 years of age and with an 11-1 record, I think that’s kind of absurd. If you take a couple steps back, I’ve only fought two or three times a year. A lot of those fights are first-round finishes. I’m fresh. I’m healthy. I make my check and then I sit for six months and you don’t hear a word about me. That’s like the worst treatment I think you can give an up-and-coming fighter who has star potential and is winning his fights in the fashion I’m winning them, which is without being touched.

“I would rather have the long road than no road at all, but I feel like I got the short end of the stick. I notched off a lot of victories there in a short period of time and there wasn’t really any big payoff for me. I didn’t receive any big fights. I didn’t receive televised spots. But (I have) no ill will. My career will be long, and the time for that stuff is now.”

Young said he “went from a kid who didn’t have (expletive) to having a lot of opportunities” while at Bellator. But in the end it was time to move on.

PFL offers something very different to Young with its season format and focus on performance over everything else. It’s on that platform in which Young thinks he will flourish, and he’s eager for his debut fight in June.

“Nothing matters in this,” Young said. “Popularity, what you do outside – fighting is the No. 1 thing. It’s like ‘Mortal Kombat.’ There’s no ducking anybody. It’s always about who is next in line, and I’m looking at it as a fight to the death, every single one. I’ve always been ready to die, even for the lesser checks. I would let myself die for $50,000, so imagine what I’ll do for $1 million.”