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Two-division Bellator champ Patricio Friere: ‘I am absolutely certain I’d beat Max Holloway’

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Bellator lightweight champion Patricio Friere is liking his chances against UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

UFC 218: Holloway v Aldo Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Bellator lightweight champion Patricio Friere is still riding on a high after his victory over Michael Chandler three weeks ago. Now, he is putting his focus on other fighters at the top of the food chain.

A former featherweight champion himself, “Pitbull” is liking his chances against current UFC 145-pound champion Max Holloway.

“I’d beat him” Freire told MMA Junkie. “That’s a fact. Like I was certain I’d beat Michael Chandler, I am absolutely certain I’d beat Max Holloway.”

Friere sees the exact same Holloway that fought Conor McGregor in 2013, despite the lengthy win streak and the two dominant victories over former long-time champion Jose Aldo.

“For me, he’s the same Max Holloway who fought Conor McGregor – and who lost to Conor McGregor,” he said. “For me, he’s that same guy, he hasn’t changed much. However, he’s very well-rounded. He’s very tall, and he utilizes his reach very well. And his boxing is very sharp. So, fighters haven’t been able to match him technically. He knocked Jose Aldo out twice with pure boxing. Speaking as a boxer, he managed to paralyze Aldo with that.

“Jose Aldo has always been, for a long time, very fast and very strong, so he was able to have medium technique – not excellent, but good – and managed to stop the other guys for a long time due to his speed and strength, mixed with the technique. Max Holloway, he isn’t a strong guy, but he’s a durable guy, with above-average technique.

Friere feels he is a different matchup than Aldo, who can bring something totally different to the table.

“As soon as he meets someone who matches his technique and who has the durability to hold him off until the end, he’s going to have a problem,” he said. “And I have power, strength, endurance. I have everything that he doesn’t want.”

Holloway just broke his 13-fight win streak against Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 in April, when the two fought for the UFC interim lightweight title. Poirier won via unanimous decision, and is now looking to unify the title against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September in Abu Dhabi.