The headliner of Bellator 255 features a featherweight championship rematch in the division’s grand prix semi-final between reigning double champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire against no. 2 ranked Bellator featherweight Emmanuel Sanchez.
Speaking at virtual media day for Bellator 255, Pitbull looked back on his first fight with Sanchez that took place in 2018 when Sanchez challenged for the title.
The two-time featherweight champ and reigning lightweight champ even credited Sanchez with being one of his toughest challenges yet.
“I have not underestimated Emmanuel Sanchez. He gave me one of my toughest fights and he’s very dynamic,” Freire said. ”He brings a lot of pressure. He has probably gotten better mentally since we fought, but technically he’s still the same fighter. The result will be the same, but this time I plan to finish him.”
Freire also spoke of his legacy. Not only looking back on what he accomplished in the past, but what he is going to accomplish in the future.
“When I beat Sanchez and AJ McKee in the finals, it would just prove what everybody already knows. That I’m number one,” Freire said. “I’ve already beaten four or five generations of Bellator’s best fighters.”
One of the fighters Pitbull is referencing is, of course, no. 4 ranked UFC lightweight Michael Chandler, who is fighting Charles Oliveira for the lightweight championship at UFC 262.
Pitbull knocked out Chandler for the Bellator lightweight championship in just over a minute in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, the no. 1 ranked Bellator pound-for-pound fighter still has fond memories regarding that night.
“I went up a weight class and took off the head of the greatest lightweight in history,” ‘Pitbull’ said. “It doesn’t matter who they bring in, I’ll beat them all.”
Freire spoke about the implications if Chandler wins the UFC lightweight championship and encouraged the rest of the MMA world to wake up and realize who and where the greatest fighter is.
“If Chandler wins the belt in the UFC, it means that the UFC is going to have to suck it up and realize they have the second best lightweight in the world, who lost to a guy that was coming up from a smaller weight class,” Freire said
“They’re going to have to realize that the pound-for-pound best lightweight fighter is not in the UFC. He’s in Bellator and his name is Patricio Pitbull.”
Watch Patricio Pitbull knock out Michael Chandler
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