Two of Bellator's top 145 pounders meet in the semi-finals of their third featherweight tournament tonight at Bellator 41. Wilson Reis will look to avenge his loss in last year's semi-final round to Patricio "Pitbull" Freire.
Reis is the former EliteXC bantamweight champ and a one-time BJJ world champion at the brown belt level. Friere, the brother of Bellator lightweight Patricky "Pitubll" Freire, went on to lose in the finals of last year's tournament to current Bellator featherweight champ Joe Warren.
Both men are technically adept fighters that have put on multiple fights that are considered technical show-cases by fans of MMA.
We've done multiple Judo Chops on the work of these two skilled Brazilians:
- Patricio "Pitbull" Freire Puts on a Leg Lock Clinic at Bellator
- The Half Guard Sweeps of Wilson Reis Upend Shad Lierley
- Wilson Reis and the Tozi Guard Pass
Here we see a sweet sample of Freire's footwork, headmovement and punching against Georgi Karakhanyan at Bellator 37.
Freire opens up on Karakhanyan with a nice straight right following a jab feint. When Karakhanyan turns and tries to counter, Freire follows with another straight right then ducks under a right hand from Karakhanyan.
Then Freire lands a hard left hook that drops Karakhanyan, follows him to the ground and finishes him quickly. Freire brings to mind a matador stabbing a bull then ducking out of the way of his horns in this sequence.
Here's some of Reis' work from the half guard against Shad Lierley at Bellator 14 with commentary by Patrick Tenney (gifs by Chris Nelson):
In the first gif we see Reis initiating an elevator sweep from half guard to set up an x-guard or deep half (he's got two options depending on how Shad's left leg reacts to the right leg raise putting him off balance). He could also try to finish a full sweep from here but it's higher risk.
Because Shad had to post the left leg in a different position after Reis used the elevator setup to put him off balance, Reis is able to lock around Shad's left leg and execute a single leg stand up (a la Marcelo Garcia) and then he just tips him into the high single takedown while sweeping the standing foot out as well.
Reis is executing a partial setup to go to deep half (full deep half is not a good idea in mma... lets you get your face punced in pretty easy) but he hooks Shad's leg to open it up and create space/put Shad off balance, Reis tris to shoot out the backdoor hooking his arm up and over on the hip trying to spin out all the way and execute another sweep or single leg stand up.
And finally, here's a look at Freire working a heel hook on William Romero at Bellator 15, commentary by Patrick Tenney (gifs by Chris Nelson):
Gif 1: You can't be too sure because of the angle, but the standing toe hold attempt here isn't really meant to get the tap; Romero has both of his legs in front of Freire's hips (pretty big no no as this essentially puts Freire past the guard anyhow (Romero is making a tiny effort by at least grabbing at the left foot of Freire, but because his own left leg is in front of Freire's he can't slide into a De la Riva guard for any sort of legitimate defense). It looks like really sloppy groundwork on Romero's part, but he's trying to stave off the toe hold by shucking his right leg back and forth so Freire can't secure the correct lock on the leg.
Gif 2: Freire breaks his own posture down a bit, going low and turning into the lock. Romero's leg is locked and Freire is putting weight into it, straightening it out in the hopes that he can complete the toe hold, Freire loops his outside (left) leg over the body and leaves his inside leg between Romero's legs so he can fully isolate the locked leg; once he does this Romero starts recognizing he's in a lot more danger and starts rolling to try to free his leg (attempting to break the grip via rotation and slide his leg out). At the end of this gif it's pretty apparent that Freire is getting close to completing the toe hold and Romero goes into emergency mode.
Gif 3: Once Romero rolled and they come back around, Freire has caught the ankle on the roll when the leg was sliding out (nice reaction and it's pretty obvious that Freire has some good leg lock experience, as he has a previous win via heel hook on his record as well). The heel hook is put in, Romero reaches to try and break Friere's grip so the ankle can be released, also turning his own hips to try and relieve some pressure (he can't continue to roll to relieve pressure as Friere's legs are blocking the motion now that the leg is trapped).