Bellator’s 145lb and 155lb champion, Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire, is set to compete in the semi-final of the featherweight GP at Bellator 255. His opponent comes in the form of a familiar face for ‘Pitbull’ as Emmanuel Sanchez steps up to make his run at 145lb gold. The two fighters previously fought in 2018, in one of Bellator‘s most exciting five-round fights to date.
The double champ is supremely confident going into the rematch. Having won the first fight by decision, Freire believes he has improved so much since then, that he will now dominate the fight wherever it ends up. Speaking with LowKick MMA’s Frank Bonada, Pitbull discussed how this second fight will demonstrate an even more impressive version of himself than in the first bout.
“The fight might be a war,” said Freire, “The first one was. But back then he was bringing a new style for me. I’ve brought new martial arts disciplines into my game. And right now, I’m much more adapted to it. So I think it’s gonna be different. I think it’s gonna be more in my favour. Less balanced than the first fight was.”
Freire also spoke about how he stacks up with Sanchez in terms of skill and ability. Unsurprisingly, the double champ does not believe ‘El Matador’ to be his equal in any area of MMA. He had the following to say:
“I feel I’m a better fighter than him in every aspect. In striking, in grappling, in wrestling. And so I can see different ways of winning this fight. I can see myself finish him standing. I can see myself submitting him. And I can see myself outwrestling him. Everyone has a plan till the fight starts. And we have to dance according to the music. You will see how it goes when we fight.
Should the fight against Sanchez go as Freire expects, he will then go on to face A.J. McKee in the final of the featherweight tournament. Whilst this does mean that Pitbull will be tied up in the 145lb division for the immediate future, he does still plan of making a lightweight title defence in 2021. He stated the following:
“We have two more fights in the featherweight tournament before I’ll have cleaned up the division again. So Bellator will have to review it. So the next step will be to defend the lightweight title.”
Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire will face off against Emmanuel Sanchez at Bellator 255 on April 2nd.