Patricio Freire Explains Decision to Vacate Bellator Lightweight Belt

By Marcelo Alonso Oct 6, 2021

Shortly after Bellator president Scott Coker announced that Patricio Freire had vacated the lightweight title, which in turned elevated his brother’s rematch with Peter Queally to a 155-pound championship bout, spoke with Patricio to get a better understanding of his decision.

“There were some things bothering me,” Patricio said. “My brother was the No. 1 challenger. If he keeps winning, he will have to fight for the belt, and it doesn't make sense for me to fight for the belt if that happens. We know that if I weren't the champion, he would have already fought for the title. Then he had to fight Queally to continue his career since I was the champion.”

Patricio also revealed that his loss to A.J. McKee in a featherweight title bout this past July played an important role in his decision.

“Being beaten in the featherweight division and holding the lightweight belt doesn't make sense to me,” he said. “I have no ego to hold this status. It doesn't make sense to be world champion with a defeat in my last bout. I want to be a pure world champion, not the guy who was defeated and keeps the belt.

“This was bothering me a lot. I know it was my decision to move up to the lightweight division and knock out [Michael] Chandler on top. But now is another moment. I'm satisfied with what I've done and it doesn't make sense to hold on to this title.”

Freire recently told that he hopes to make his return by February 2022 — ideally in a championship rematch against McKee.

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