Patricio “Pitbull” Freire won the Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament last Saturday night, defeating Daniel Straus. The victory earned him a return shot at current Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren.
Warren (7-1) defeated Freire (17-1) in the Bellator Season 2 Featherweight Tournament final, before moving on to take the belt from then champion Joe Soto.
Freire showed well in their first fight, dropping Warren and catching him in a rear naked choke in the opening round of the bout. Warren battled back, taking Freire to the mat and ground and pounding him in rounds two and three, getting the judges’ nod for a split decision win.
Warren has yet to defend the belt, although he fought in a non-title, catchweight bout at Bellator 41, winning a unanimous decision over Marcos Galvao. He also intends on entering the Season 5 bantamweight tournament, regardless of whether or not he wins or loses against Freire. Warren isn’t planning on losing the belt, however, and would attempt becoming the promotion’s first two-division champion.
Freire has won three consecutive bouts since losing to Warren, knocking out his quarterfinal and semifinal round opponents in the featherweight tournament.
Bellator is also conducting another featherweight tournament during its Summer Series, readying another title contender for whoever wins between Warren and Freire in July.
(Updated at 12:05 a.m. ET on May 25, 2011 to clarify Warren’s Bellator 41 victory.)