In the weeks leading up to Bellator 149, Patricky Freire and Melvin Guillard went back and forth at one another in interviews and on social media.
The only problem? Guillard was fighting Derek Campos, not Freire, on Feb. 19 in Houston. Campos provided a long-lasting reminder of that fact by knocking out “The Young Assassin” 32 seconds into round two of their encounter at the Toyota Center that night. Not only was it Guillard’s third straight loss, but it also appears to have brought an end to a feud that was just picking up steam.
“It’s not a fight that makes sense for me anymore. I wanted to fight Melvin before when the timing was right. Now he’s coming from three losses in a row. His name is not as valuable anymore,” Freire told Sherdog.com “I’m always looking for the biggest challenge and the biggest names, the fights that are going to take me to the top, and he’s not one of those anymore.”
Instead, Freire, who has won five of his last seven fights — including a brutal knockout of Ryan Couture in January — has his sights set on the top of the division.
“Will Brooks, Michael Chandler, Josh Thomson.. those are the fights I’m looking to have in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, despite already having a loss to Freire on his record, Campos’ upset victory elevated him to a rematch against the 30-year-old Brazilian at Bellator 152 in Torino, Italy, on April 16. The elder “Pitbull” brother defeated Campos via technical knockout 52 seconds into round two of their first encounter at Bellator 117. Freire’s most vivid memory of that meeting is initially having the wrong game plan against the Lubbock, Texas, native.
“In that fight I made a mistake. I went in there thinking he would be a wrestler, and I spent the whole first round waiting to shoot,” he said. “And he didn’t do it a single time. I went back to my corner after the round was over and my brother told me to stop waiting for him. So I went in there and finished him.”
If he can emerge victorious at Bellator 152, Freire would like a chance to face the winner of the Bellator 154 showdown between Thomson and Chandler. In the meantime, he had no issue giving Campos a rematch, especially when both fighters are coming off emphatic knockout victories.
“I think it’s all about timing,” Freire said. “Bellator had offered me a fight against Brent Primus, but after he got the win over Melvin, they sent me a new bout agreement with his [Campos’] name on it and I signed it. I don’t pick an opponent. Wherever they want me to fight and whenever they want me to fight.”