Emmanuel Sanchez Primed for Bellator Featherweight Title Shot Against Patricio Freire

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 16, 2018

With victories in seven of his last eight bouts, Emmanuel Sanchez has quietly worked his way up the ladder in Bellator MMA’s featherweight division.

But now that reigning 145-pound king Patricio Freire mentioned Sanchez’s name after a successful title defense against Daniel Weichel at Bellator 203, “El Matador” is more than ready to seize the opportunity.

“It’s time for a new featherweight champion. It’s time for a new king to reign supreme,” Sanchez wrote on Instagram. “I am the [Bellator MMA] entertainment, the most active fighter on the roster, the toughest road to gold and the rose that grew from concrete. It’s my time.”

Sanchez last appeared at Bellator 198, where he submitted UFC veteran Sam Sicilia with an arm-triangle choke 3:52 into the opening stanza on April 28. The Roufusport product also owns wins over the likes of Daniel Straus, Georgi Karakhanyan, Marcos Galvao and Justin Lawrence within the California-based promotion.

In an interview with MMAjunkie.com, Freire expressed a desire to face new competition after having faced Weichel, Daniel Straus and Pat Curran multiple times in recent years, and Sanchez is near the top of the featherweight contenders list in Bellator. Meanwhile, Sanchez trainer Duke Roufus implied that his fighter will be next in line in a separate Instagram post. Bellator MMA has not announced who Freire will face in his next appearance.

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