Patricky Freire is eyeing future matchups with Will Brooks and Melvin Guillard. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Patricky Freire has a very basic set of expectations when he visualizes his upcoming Bellator 141 showdown with Saad Awad.
“Fireworks,” the Brazilian lightweight says with a laugh.
“He’s a dangerous guy. I know he’ll be coming right at me trying to knock me out, but my hands are more powerful and better than him. I’m faster, and I will be the one to connect. He will be knocked out.”
As to whether a victory over Awad, who enters the matchup on a three-fight winning streak, will get “Pitbull” closer to a desired bout against reigning lightweight king Will Brooks is another matter entirely. While Freire is coming off a loss to current top contender Marcin Held, he still has plenty of heat with Bellator MMA’s 155-pound champion.
“I think Bellator is the one that has to weigh in on that,” Freire said. “But I’ve been seeing people talking about it, and I’ll be doing my part. I know everyone wants to see me fight Will Brooks because we’ve been going at each other on Twitter. He’s the one that’s been looking for a fight. I’ll be doing my part to get there.”
In fact, Brooks might very well be public enemy No. 1 in the Freire family, as Patricky’s brother, featherweight king Patricio Freire, recently got into a heated exchange with “Ill Will” on Twitter. Patricky, meanwhile, has gone head-to-head with Brooks in the past as well and claims that the American Top Team product is doing his best to avoid meeting him in the cage.
Freire has an explanation for that reasoning.
“Because he said he would ask Bellator and ask his manager to set up a fight,” Freire said. “And he didn’t do that. He kept silent, and he was just doing that to showcase himself on Twitter. I think he’s just a poor boy that needs attention.”
Bellator 141 takes place at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., on Friday night. The evening’s main card airs on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and headlined by a lightweight bout between Melvin Guillard and Brandon Gritz. Freire-Awad is the co-main event. Freire, who asked to face “The Young Assassin” when his signing was announced, doubts Guillard’s viability as a headlining attraction in his promotional debut.
“I just wanted to welcome him,” Freire said. “I know he was coming from a loss. I don’t think he should be the one in the main event right now. He’s got the game that looks a lot like mine. I love those types of fights, so of course I would love to fight him.”
Before Freire can think too far ahead, however, he’ll have to dispatch Awad on Friday. Perhaps then he will be one step closer to matching the accomplishments of his brother. Much of Patricky’s motivation to succeed comes from Patricio, who captured featherweight gold with a unanimous decision over Pat Curran at Bellator 123. The ultimate dream is for both siblings to eventually stand atop their respective divisions together.
“Seeing Patricio being the champion really motivated me a lot. It’s a dream we shared ever since we were kids. We talk about being world champions. When his dream was realized of course it was realized for me as well....it’s just half of the dream,” he said. “There’s another half left. That’s me getting the belt and becoming a world champion together with him. Seeing how a champion trains, how he eats, how he lives really gives me an inside path to get there. It couldn’t be better.”