Morning Report: Patricio ‘Pitbull’ confident against Pedro Carvalho: ‘I am expecting the best possible fighter but prepare to be killed’

Patricio Pitbull Freire EL

Patricio Pitbull Freire EL | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Thursday night, Bellator featherweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire will finally return to the cage when he defends his title against Pedro Carvalho at Bellator 252. The bout is not just a featherweight title fight though, it’s a quarterfinal bout in Bellator’s featherweight grand prix, with the winner moving on to eventually compete for a grand prize of $ 1 million. It’s a big opportunity, and as such Carvalho has been attempting to make the most of it by antagonizing the champion for months since the bout was first planned, something the champion understands, though he says it won’t change the outcome this evening.

“He did what he had to do,” Freire told MMAJunkie. “He’s selling the fight. He’s got to sell the fight. He’s got to sell himself. Portugal and Brazil have a history but we’re brothers and sisters. They are very passionate people, especially about MMA – just as Brazilians are passionate about MMA.

“I’m sure that (tonight) he goes in there 100 percent and I have to do my job. I’m a professional fighter and my job is to go in there and eliminate him. That’s what I’m prepared to do.”

And the overwhelming expectation is that Freire will do just that. Pitbull is not just the featherweight champion, but also Bellator’s lightweight champion, and as such, he enters the bout this evening as the prohibitive betting favorite, as high as -900 at William Hill. But don’t let the seemingly one-sided nature of this bout fool you, Pitbull says he expects the best possible opponent to be standing opposite him this evening.

“I don’t like that at all,” Freire said. “I know that this guy is young. He’s hungry. He’s coming. He’s really hungry for this title. He’s Conor McGregor’s teammate at SBG. That is a well-prepared team so I am expecting the best possible fighter on the other side but prepare to be killed. Prepare to be eliminated from the tournament.”

It likely doesn’t hurt that Freire has been waiting a long time for this fight. Originally set to take place in March, the bout was cancelled just hours beforehand due to COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Pitbull hasn’t fought since last September, and with over a year outside of the cage, the champion is ready to get back to business and keep moving towards the $ 1 million prize.

“I feel great,” Freire said. “I’m well-prepared for this fight. It’s been a long while. I am prepared to win this fight and get that $ 1 million and move on in the tournament.”

Patricio Pitbull stamped his ticket the quarterfinals with a unanimous decision win over Juan Archuleta. Meanwhile, Carvalho submitted Sam Sicilia with a face crank to get here. The winner of their fight will go on to face the winner of Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Weichel bout that also takes place tonight.


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FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


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