Patricio Freire defended his Bellator featherweight title with a quick knockout win over Pedro Carvalho last night. Post-fight ‘Pitbull’ declared himself the best 145lb fighter in MMA, he said.

“I’m not the best featherweight in Bellator. I’m the best featherweight in the world. No other featherweight has my hands. I’m complete. Now, I have 11 knockouts and 11 submissions. There’s no other featherweight in the world that is as complete as I am.”

Bellator President Scott Coker was quick to back his fighters claims and even compared ‘Pitbull’ to legendary boxing champion Roberto Duran, he said.

“We are lucky to have him. He’s been a great fighter for us. He’s been a great ambassador for us. He was here even way before me. I’ll tell you what. I looked back and I saw a lot of his old clips over the last week, just looking around on our YouTube channels and different places. I said, ‘This guy reminds me of a young Roberto Duran’ if we had to put it in a boxing sense, right? He is a young Roberto Duran. He is not afraid of anybody. He’s going to bring it. I think he’s the best. Right now? He’s the best featherweight in the world.”

Freire is now set to square off against Emmanuel Sanchez in the Bellator featherweight grand prix semi-final. Sanchez picked up a decision win over Daniel Weichel last night.

“I watched (Emmanuel’s) whole fight,” Freire said. “I was warming up for my fight. Sanchez was looking good. He was very dynamic. I like his style (as) I said in the cage. But I’m better than him. He knows that.”

Coker revealed he is hoping to match ‘Pitbull’ and Sanchez in the first month of 2021, he said.

“I’m going to try to get this fight into the cage as soon as we can. We’d like to do the final sometime in April or May. That would be good timing I think. If we could get this fight to the cage in late January. I think that’d be ideal for us. Then you’d have February and March. April we’d have the final. It’s long overdue. Let’s put it that way.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Do you think Patricio Freire is the best 145lb fighter in MMA?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.