The “Pitbull Brothers” Patricio and Patricky Freire have been a staple of Bellator MMA for years. Patricio is Bellator’s current featherweight champion, while the heavy-handed Patricky is a longtime lightweight contender on the cusp of another title shot.
With Patricio set to defend his title in a rematch with Daniel Weichel this summer, his older brother wants to compete on the same card, something that they’ve actively avoided doing throughout their eight-year run under the Bellator banner. As he told MMAjunkie earlier this week, Patricky thinks that proper promotion could lead to some much-needed strong television ratings.
“A card with me and my brother, if promoted well, is something huge,” Patricky said. “Our ratings numbers have always been above average for Bellator, some way above, and the fact of two brothers fighting on the same night creates even more intrigue. The best case scenario would be to fight (Bellator lightweight champion) Brent Primus, but I know they’re saving him for (Michael) Chandler, so as a second option I’d like any big European name with a big fanbase there, someone the fans would be excited to see.”
Patricky Freire (19-8) has won his last three fights, including knockout wins vs. Josh Thomson and Derek Campos, as well as a split decision over former WEC and UFC champion Benson Henderson. Combining both performance and quality of opponent, he’s in arguably the best form of his career. As he already mentioned, while he’d love to fight lightweight champ Brent Primus next, he would be willing to take another non-title bout.
“Anyone the fans would enjoy is fine by me. There are some top names in the lightweight division that I could fight like Goiti Yamauchi, Adam Piccolotti, but due to the event being in Europe, perhaps it wouldn’t make much sense for Bellator. So either Primus or a big-name, high-level European fighter would be great.”
Even though the Pitbull brothers have never competed on the same Bellator card, they have fought on the same event in the Brazilian regional scene.
“We fought a couple times in the same night,” Patricky said. “We’d worry about each other and not focus entirely on ourselves. The first time we fought on the same night, Patricio’s fight was right after mine, and he was shadow boxing and warming up ringside while I was fighting. But we’re more mature now, and we don’t think it’ll get in the way.”
It may not necessarily happen on this card, but it would be really great to see Bellator have a Patricio and Patricky doubleheader, especially if there’s a potential tie-in with their ongoing rivalry with Michael Chandler.
Bellator 203: Pitbull vs. Weichel 2 will be staged in Rome, Italy on Saturday, July 14th. The main card will air via tape-delay on Paramount Network.