Elder Freire Joins Bellator Lightweight Tourney

By Mike Whitman Feb 11, 2011
Patricky Freire will join his brother, Patricio Freire, in Bellator's upcoming series of tournaments, as the elder “Pitbull” was officially announced by the promotion on Friday as a participant in its fourth-season lightweight tourney.

The promotion made the announcement Friday morning via press release. Having competed exclusively in Brazil during his five-year professional career, Freire will make both his Bellator and his U.S. debut in 2011. Freire rides a three-fight winning streak heading into the tournament.

“I’m very anxious to show fans in the United States what I'm capable of,” said Freire in the press release. “Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to fight at a really high level, and now I will with Bellator. I have always trained and fought very hard, and now it's time to test myself in deeper waters.”

Six combatants have now been confirmed for the lightweight tournament. The once-beaten Team Nogueira representative joins Olympic judoka Ferrid Kheder and former WEC champion Rob McCullough, among others, in the lightweight draw.

As with all of Bellator’s eight-man tournaments, the fighter who is able to win three consecutive bouts will be awarded $100,000 in total pay and become the No. 1 contender for Eddie Alvarez’s title. Season four begins with Bellator 35 March 5 and will showcase all four welterweight quarterfinals. Bellator's fourth-season events will be broadcast live on MTV2.

Freire's younger sibling, Patricio, was a finalist in the promotion's second-season featherweight tournament, falling to current Bellator king Joe Warren by split decision at Bellator 23. Now he will have another shot at capturing Bellator gold in Season four, as the younger Freire joins the likes of Wilson Reis and Georgi Karakhanyan in the tournament field.

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