Patricio Freire Says He's "the Best Featherweight in the World"


After becoming a two weight Bellator champion opposite Michael Chandler, Patricio Freire’s title hunt still isn’t still quite complete.

Instead, ‘Pitbull’ is seeking a brand new challenge. “I’d like to fight for the 135-pound belt,” Freire told MMA Junkie. “I want that achievement and to be unforgettable in this sport.” Freire’s list of achievements is already sizable, winning the Bellator Featherweight crown twice before knocking out Chandler this month. That fight ended in some debate, with the referee’s stoppage dividing onlookers after Chandler had quickly rose to his feet.

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Either way, the victory made Freire the winningest fighter in Bellator in history and 135 lbs is now the double-champion’s focus. “I’ve put in the request, I’ve made it public, everyone saw it,” Freire explained. “But I depend on other things. If it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t for lack of asking. I’ve been asking this for more than five years. I emailed Bellator telling them, back then, that I’d fight anyone from 135 to 170 pounds.”

Bantamweight isn’t ‘Pitbull’s only option though, with a Chandler rematch also remaining a possibility. However, Freire believes that some time can pass before those two run it back. “I think he deserves to wait a little,” Freire said. “The knockout was clear. It was clean. There were no controversies in the fight. He’s already locked up the 155-pound division several times. Bellator had to wait for him. So I think he deserves a taste of his own medicine. I don’t know. Let’s think. We’ll see the offers that come by.”

Freire admits that he “don’t know what will happen” as 155 lbs but at Featherweight, he already sees his next likely contender. “It seems A.J. McKee is the best-ranked, but I’ve heard there will be a grand prix in October and that all featherweights will join in. So I don’t know what the order will be. If it’s going to be a random draw, if they’re going to go by rankings to choose who fights me first. My vision is, if I face this guy, I will destroy him,” Freire proclaimed.

"I’m the best featherweight in the world, and I have been for a while. I’ve never been submitted. I’ve never been knocked out . . . I’m daring. They say I’m a bantamweight, I fight at featherweight, and I went up to 155 a few times. I was successful. I beat the best 155er in the history of Bellator. 

"I’m Bellator’s pound-for-pound best, there’s no discussion. I have all the records. Most knockouts in the division, most submissions in the division, double champion. There’s no debating that.”

For Freire’s full interview with MMA Junkie’s Fernanda Prates, click here.

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