Patricky Freire went from facing prospect Goiti Yamauchi to talking on MMA veteran Roger Huerta at Friday’s Bellator 205 in Boise, Idaho, but one thing hasn’t changed: his fight prediction.
When the 36-fight veteran replaced the young jiu-jitsu expert against “Pitbull” at Bellator 205, the Brazilian had to adapt his training routine to focus on stopping Huerta’s takedowns instead of working more on triangle and armbar defenses, one of Yamauchi’s specialties.
”Roger Huerta has a big name in MMA, everybody knows he’s tough, he’s a warrior,” Freire told MMA Fighting. “He has good takedowns, good takedown defense. He’s a good striker. He’s not an excellent striker, but it’s not an easy fight. He’s a veteran, a smart fighter. He’s in the game for a long time and I can’t underestimate a veteran.”
Winner of five of his last six fights, including victories over Josh Thomson, Ben Henderson and Ryan Couture, “Pitbull” expects another quick finish in his 20th Bellator appearance.
”It doesn’t matter, to tell you the truth,” Freire said of the change of opponents. “The result will be the same: I was going to knock out either one of them anyway. I’m in this moment in my career where I feel how the fight will go.
”Mark my words, it ends in the first round. I don’t know exactly how — a kick, a knee or a punch —, but I feel it will be in the first round.”
The Brazilian lightweight was hoping for a shot at 155-pound champion Brent Primus after stopping Campos in less than three minutes in February, but the chance for the belt never came.
Still gunning for another Bellator title bout, “Pitbull” vows to get past every single opponent the company puts in front of him until that day comes.
”When I beat Derek Campos in the beginning of the year, Scott Coker told me I was the next in line, but then they changed plans,” Freire said. “I told them I wanted to stay active if I wasn’t getting a title shot, that I needed a fight to stay active and make money, and that’s how this fight happened. I’m glad I’m working, that’s what I want.”
Bellator 205 takes place at the Centurylink Arena in Boise, and features AJ McKee vs. John Macapa in the main event.