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John Lineker, Patricio Freire Discuss Futures During Documentary Filming


Despite never fighting under the same banner, Patricio Freire and John Lineker are quite familiar with each other’s work.

Ahead of the second edition of the documentary by Combate titled “Rivalries,” Freire and Lineker met backstage. Both fighters spoke to Sherdog about their meeting and what comes next for each fighter. One Championship contender Lineker plans on seeking out his old title, while Bellator MMA staple Freire is focused on recovery and looking toward what’s next.

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“Here is a guy whom I respect the knockout power,” Freire said when meeting Lineker. Surprised when “Pitbull” entered his dressing room, Lineker happily welcomed the praise, with a warm embrace and a reply of, “Hear that from you is more than a compliment.”

Combining for 90 total fights, while sharing 72 victories including 29 of those by knockout, Freire and Lineker are considered two of the heavier hitters in their weight divisions. During their encounter, Freire congratulated “Hands of Stone” for his two consecutive wins over Jae Woong Kim and Stephen Loman, and asked when Lineker will fight for his old belt against Fabricio Andrade.

“I’m waiting for the rematch,” Lineker responded. “But this time I will arrive in Asia 15 days before the fight just like I did against Loman. Also, I hope they don’t make the third one in the ring that favors his muay thai game. Fighting in the cage, arriving 15 days before and improving my head movement, I’m sure I can give a totally different fight to him.”

. Lineker was quite aware of his countryman’s recent issue that required surgery, and he asked Freire about just that. Freire stated that spoke openly about his hernia surgery, revealing details about his ailments, and sharing his return plans.

“I had two problems, a hernia and a nerve compression,” the Bellator mainstay admitted. “In the surgery, my doctor had to open some kind of tunnel and clean the back of the nerve, cutting out the hernia. Just to give you an idea how much power I lost, I was doing bench press with 5 kg [each side] in my last two camps and now, after two months of the surgery, I’m doing with 20 kg each side. That’s not even half my normal power [of 60 kg per side], but I’m evolving each physiotherapy session and I hope to be returning to the cage six months after the surgery with my full potential.”

Ever the curious fighter – perhaps inquiring in case the two swam in the same waters one day – Lineker asked the former Bellator champ what his plans were going forward. According to “Pitbull,” he intends to finish his contract and move on.

“I’m 36 years old, same age of ‘Poatan’ [Alex Pereira]. I think it’s a good moment to test myself in [the] UFC doing the fights the fans always wanted to see in my division. But I also would love to make a rematch with Michael Chandler in lightweight,” Freire concluded, sharing another hug with Lineker before the two departed.
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