Former Bellator featherweight champion Patricio "Pitbull" Freire was recently interviewed for the first time following his first-round submission loss to A.J. McKee at Bellator 263.
He spoke with MMAFighting's Guilherme Cruz to give his thoughts on the fight with McKee and what he would like to see happen next for his career. Pitbull said the following about his opinion on referee Mike Beltran's stoppage, believing he was never fully out from the guillotine choke applied from McKee.
“I never felt I was out,” Pitbull said. “My eyes were seeing everything that was happening. I was like, ‘F*ck, was I out? How did I not notice that? The angle that the referee has is the same one we saw on TV, and you can’t see my other arm moving. So basically I lost in a guillotine when I wasn’t out nor I tapped. But I don’t know, man. I don’t want to be a sore loser, but it’s a weird feeling. I don’t know how to explain. I recognize that the kid landed a really beautiful kick, a ruthless sequence that knocked me down, I got up, [and] that guillotine that was locked, but I didn’t feel like I slept, and everybody saw I didn’t tap. It happens. Congratulations. This title will come back.“
Despite the one-sided loss to McKee and dropping his featherweight crown, Pitbull is still the Bellator lightweight champion. Many fans, media members, and McKee himself have called for the immediate rematch between the two for the Brazilian's 155-pound title, but it's not something that Pitbull himself seems all that interested in.
“He has no fights at 155 [pounds],” he said. “The fact he beat me at 145 maybe doesn’t put him ahead of the other fighters that are working year after year for a shot at the lightweight belt. He beat me at 145 – the rightful rematch would be at 145. This fight happening at 155 is something I don’t want. I fought in his hometown, in his timezone, with American referees. Which advantage would they give me in return? Why would I give him the rematch at 155? Or they want to make this rematch [at 155] so he takes both golds? I don’t know. It’s tough. I haven’t thought too much about it yet. Everything changed in my life.”