Longtime Bellator MMA staple Patricky Freire wants to keep the lightweight title in his family.
On Monday, former two-division champ Patricio Freire announced that he was relinquishing his lightweight belt, after losing the featherweight title to A.J. McKee in July. Patricio did not want to interfere in veteran lightweight Patricky’s title run, explaining that he would not face his brother for a championship. Bellator head Scott Coker hen announced that the vacant 155-pound throne would be up for grabs in a rematch between Patricky and Peter Queally in Dublin at Bellator 270. Many were surprised by this news, including Coker, the fans, media, and even Patricio’s own brother. Patricky spoke to Sherdog about this new sudden development on Thursday.
“My brother told me something about that last week and I told him not to do so, believing I had changed his mind,” Freire explained. “But he communicated about it to Coker, and the following day, [the] Bellator matchmaker wrote in a group we have in WhatsApp that my fight would be for the vacant lightweight title. I was driving when I saw the message and started to cry.”
Right after hearing about this new opportunity, Patricky called his brother to thank him, and promised he would not disappoint him in November his opponent Queally’s homeland. “Pitbull” and Queally fought at Bellator 258 in May, and the Brazilian came up short due to a doctor stoppage from cuts administered by Queally’s elbows.
“I just had the opportunity to fight for the belt once, but it was a last call invitation to face Chandler,” the elder Freire brother noted. “I was on vacation in [the] USA and had 30 days to return and get ready and I ended up losing. This time will be totally different. I’m doing a complete camp. To lose to Queally twice would be a total dishonor to me and my brother. The belt will not travel to Ireland, [it] will just move 500 meters from my brother’s house to mine.”
Patricky also analyzed his mistakes in the first fight and promised to change strategy. While Freire was very likely up on the scorecards at the end of the first round, he took enough damage that the doctor had to intervene.
“Any sparring here in Pitbull Brothers has a much better wrestling and ground game than Queally. I was winning the fight. My mistake was putting my head down and allowing him to use elbows to cut me. But it will not happen again,” Freire guaranteed.
When asked what he thinks about a hostile Irish crowd cheering for his rival, a concern that Douglas Lima had when facing Michael Page in London earlier in the month, “Pitbull” was not concerned. It did not even phase him knowing that the California audience loudly cheered for McKee against his brother.
“Me and my brother never had the opportunity to fight at home, so that's pretty common to us,” Patricky admitted. “I’ll beat Queally in front of his noisy audience and later drink their beer. I’ll introduce Carnival to Irish people.”
Should he win the belt, knowing that McKee has designs of moving up to claim a second crown, Patricky welcomes the opportunity to avenge his brother’s defeat.
“I would love to do so, but the reality in lightweight is totally different,” Freire said. “If Bellator [doesn’t] protect [McKee] and throw him to the lions, just like they did when my brother decided to go up, he will have a hard time to reach the belt. I see at least three guys, beside myself, who can beat him in the division: Adam Piccolotti, Sidney Outlaw and Usman Nurmagomedov. And the fact is that A.J. is pretty much like [Alistair] Overeem, a lion while punishing, but a kitty when being punished. I don’t see him growing up in a shark tank.”
Freire does not want to get ahead of himself, and expects that there will be a featherweight rematch first between his brother Patricio and the unbeaten McKee.
“I don’t believe Bellator will deny that revenge to one of the most dominant champions of their history and truly believe if Patricio face him 10 times, he would win eight. Patricio committed one mistake he never does in that first one. As far as I know my brother, he will train harder than ever and kick his ass,” Patricky concluded.
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