Patricio Pitbull is confident that Henry Cejudo will make an eventual return to the fight game.
Freire and Cejudo have a friendly rivalry between them. Working under coach Eric Albarracin, Cejudo simultaneously held the UFC flyweight and bantamweight titles, while Freire reigned as Bellator featherweight and lightweight champion.
Cejudo — who retired after beating Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 — recently teased a return to the Octagon, posting a face-off photo with UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and teasing a dream fight vs. Max Holloway. In a new interview, "Pitbull" expressed optimism in Cejudo's return from retirement.
"You can write that Patricio Pitbull is saying Henry Cejudo is going to return," Freire told Fightful via a translator. "I'm certain of it."
Bellator has recently welcomed an influx of star power, including Yoel Romero, Anthony Johnson and Cris Cyborg. The promotion has also signed a broadcast deal with Showtime. Freire has been with the promotion since 2010 and is thrilled to see Bellator's growth.
"I'm very happy with all this. I've been with the promotion since it started taking its first steps. No one thought it could be the organization that it is right now. I'm happy to have been with them, to grow with them and where it is," he shared. "I still think there is much more to come. Bring on the new fans, bring on the news eyes because I'm sure they'll like what they see."
Freire (31-4) will defend his Bellator featherweight title in the promotion's Featherweight Grand Prix semi-finals against Emmanuel Sanchez. "Pitbull" previously beat Sanchez via unanimous decision in 2018 and expects an easier go the second time.
"I evolved and he remained the same fighter, that much is clear. But I can tell you for sure it will make for an easier fight," Freire expressed. "He's very tough in his own right, he's very skilled. I'm not going to underestimate him. I know what awaits me in the cage and we'll see how this story goes once we fight."
Bellator 255 takes place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on Friday, April 2. The card is headlined by a Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix semi-finals title fight between Patricio Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez. It will mark Bellator's first broadcast on Showtime.