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‘I overestimated that guy’ - Patricky Freire upset about loss to Usman Nurmagomedov

Former Bellator lightweight champion Patricky Freire shared his thoughts on his recent loss to Usman Nurmagomedov and why he still thinks he’s the better fighter.

Patricky Freire lost the lightweight title to Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 288.
Patricky Freire lost the lightweight title to Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 288.
Photo by Daniela Parra Saiani/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion Patricky Freire knows exactly what went wrong in his title fight against Usman Nurmagomedov. Although he lost the title to Khabib’s cousin at Bellator 288, the Brazilian feels like he could have done more in the cage if he hadn’t respected his opponent so much.

In an interview with Super Lutas, Freire explained that his biggest mistake was to overestimate Nurmagomedov’s skills. Should they fight again in the future, the 36-year-old believes that being aggressive right from the start would be a better path to victory.

“When I stepped out of the cage, I knew exactly what I had done wrong,” Freire revealed, “what I was unable to do in the fight. I’ve only watched the fight once, It went down exactly like I had pictured. I could do almost nothing. I overestimated that guy. I waited too long for him to do something. He just kept his distance, threw some kicks and kept moving well. It was a smart strategy and he was able to pull it off. I couldn’t do my thing. I was too cautious,”

“I should have started the fight the same way I started the fifth round,” Freire said. “I shouldn’t have respected him at all. I felt like he was not all that he was made out to be. I actually though his kicks were going to be more powerful.”

The loss to Nurmagomedov put Freire (24-11) in a difficult spot, having won only one of his last four outings. Before his latest defeat, the 35-year-old won the title by knocking out Peter Queally, in November 2021. However, the win came right after back-to-back losses to Queally and Tofiq Musayev, respectively in May 2021 and December 2019.