On May 11th, one of the biggest title fights in Bellator MMA history will go down in Rosemont, Illinois. Reigning featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is moving up to lightweight to take on titleholder Michael Chandler, who won the belt back from Brent Primus earlier this year. It’s a champ vs. champ showdown and an opportunity for Pitbull to join Ryan Bader as a simultaneous two-division Bellator king.
Among those who will be in Patricio’s corner that Saturday night is his brother, lightweight contender Patricky Pitbull. He’s currently on the mend after surgery earlier this month after injuring his wrist in his decision win against Ryan Scope back in February. When asked how that would affect him and his brother that they’d been unable to train together for Patricio’s camp vs. Chandler, he said “a lot and at the same time not much,” but did reveal some other things that he is disappointed to be missing out on.
“We don’t usually spar and train together, because things tend to get a bit heated,” Patricky told Bloody Elbow in an interview last week. “He was one of my main sparring partners when I fought Chandler, though. But more than training with him, being there for him as a head coach, observing the practices and coordinating with the other trainers like he does on my camps is something I’m going crazy for missing. They send me videos of practices, but it isn’t the same thing as being on his ear in real time.
“He’s been in Arizona for over two weeks and I have yet to leave Brazil due to my surgery. I’m trying to get my flight booked for this weekend so I can be there for him on these last weeks of camp. He decided to finish this camp there due to [Henry] Cejudo and Eric Albarracin’s invitation and all the structure they put together, and I was supposed to go with them on the same day.”
Since this interview, Patricky has since flown to the United States for the remainder of his brother’s camp.
The Pitbull brothers and Chandler have a heated rivalry. Chandler has twice beaten Patricky inside the Bellator cage, and there have been heavy and consistently public accusations from Patricio that Chandler has been using PEDs. The potential for bad blood during fight week seems high, but Patricky isn’t concerned about tensions boiling over... sort of.
“I’m not worried at all,” Patricky said. “If he tries something I have a working hand and everything else to throw at him.”
While Patricky is known as a knockout artist, Patricio is a more well-rounded finisher with an equal number of knockouts and submissions to his name. If it were up to him, he’d rather see his brother knock Chandler unconscious.
“A KO for sure,” he said. “I’m sure that’s what my brother is looking for. It’s part of our instinct, and against a guy like that just the win isn’t enough. For it to be satisfactory, it has to be by KO. And if that happens after Patricio hurts Chandler a lot, that will be even better.
You can watch Bellator 221: Chandler vs. Pitbull live on DAZN at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. Michael Page vs. Douglas Lima in the welterweight tournament semifinals is the other featured bout on the card.