Former Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Patricio Freire will be heading up to lightweight for tonight’s Bellator 160 main event against Ben Henderson. At stake for both men, is a shot at Michael Chandler, the current champion who won the vacant title by knocking out Patricio’s brother Patricky back in June. The KO was followed by Chandler making a throat-slash gesture towards Patricio from atop the cage.
Patricio is already the presumptive top contender at 145 lbs, where he’d twice successfully defended his belt before losing by unanimous decision in his trilogy bout vs. Daniel Straus. With his pivotal #1 contender bout against Bendo just hours away, it’s possible that the 29-year-old could soon be competing for titles in multiple weight classes. However, in a recent interview with the Three Amigos Podcast, he says that being a multi-division champion is no longer on his mind.
“Before, I used to think about being a multiple weight class champion,” Patricio said (through his translator, Matheus Aquino). “But right now, it’s not about the 155 belt, it’s about taking off Michael Chandler’s head. That’s all that occurs to me regarding 155. [As for] Daniel Straus, he’s away but when he gets back, I’ll be the one meeting him, that’s something I know for sure.
“I want to make it very clear that I’m not looking past this challenge I have right now,” Patricio continued. “I know I have a big [challenge] and a great challenger in front of me. Winning or losing this fight doesn’t matter regarding my fight with Michael Chandler. One way or another I know I’m going to meet him sometime, and we’ll settle things up. It’s just that this time, my focus is entirely on Ben Henderson.”
Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull airs on Spike TV at 10 PM ET/PT (delayed to the west coast) from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
You can check out the entire interview here at the 53:25 mark in the audio, or via the embedded player below. Remember, if you're looking for us on SoundCloud or iTunes, we're under the MMA Nation name. Follow our Twitter accounts: Stephie Haynes, Three Amigos Podcast, George Lockhart, Iain Kidd and Mookie Alexander, or our Facebook fan page, Three Amigos Pod.