The super-fight between Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire and lightweight title holder Michael Chandler is less than two weeks away from going down. And the Brazilian featherweight cannot wait to be locked up in the cage against someone he has wanted to fight for a long time.
Brother of lightweight contender Patricky Freire, whom Chandler defeated on two separate occasions, Patricio shared some of the reasons why he feels a personal need to have his own chance to face the American in the Bellator cage—some of those reasons dating back to years before both men even made a name for themselves.
“The anticipation is under control, but I can’t wait to beat him up.” Freire told Bloody Elbow. “For a long time, Bellator tried to make a star out of Chandler, but he always drew fewer numbers than me. Many times he said on Twitter that he wanted to fight me and my brother before their second fight. After he fought Patricky, he erased those tweets, but he knows very well that he used to beg for those fights. After the fight, he said some things about my family and made up lies about me. Now he’ll pay for everything.”
Deemed by some pundits to be a small featherweight, who has suffered in the past to deal with opponents’ larger statures, Freire guarantees that the bigger Chandler won’t pose much of a puzzle and is not worried about the size difference. Patricio feels he has managed to fix that problem in his most recent outings.
“About having trouble with bigger opposition, that’s in the past, before I changed my style. From there on out, I was a tough nut to crack for all of them. It won’t be different this time. I’ll make Chandler make a mistake and then I’ll beat him up badly before I finish the fight.”
Should ‘Pitbull’ defeat Chandler, he would become one of Bellator’s few ‘double champions,’ but he does not plan to take things easy if he manages the feat. In fact, Patricio revealed to already have an eye on the upcoming featherweight tournament, while also considering even a pursuit of the bantamweight belt.
“I’m going to win (against Chandler), then there’s the featherweight GP in October and I intend to be a part of it. The one million dollars prize is waiting for me and there is a lot of talkers who need to be silenced. I like to keep my options open, though. I’ll vacate my lightweight belt when my brother recovers from his injury, then I’ll break everyone in the featherweight tournament and I might even go after the bantamweight belt afterwards.”
Patricio Freire (28-4) is on a three-fight winning streak, with victories over Emmanuel Sanchez, Daniel Weichel and Daniel Straus. The 31-year-old hasn’t lost since a TKO loss due to injury, in August 2016, against Benson Henderson. His bout against Chandler is expected to headline at Bellator 221, on May 11, in Rosemont, Illinois.