UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Emmanuel Sanchez has heard it all throughout the span of his professional mixed martial arts career.

He shouldn’t win. He can’t win. He won’t win.

But oftentimes, Sanchez (20-4 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) does win. Even when deemed improbable by the oddsmakers, Sanchez consistently displays new tricks, wears down opponents, and shows why fundamentals are important.

Entering his Bellator 255 title rematch with champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (31-4 MMA, 19-4 BMMA), the Roufusport product Sanchez knows many people are picking against him. It’s no different than usual – and he likes that.

“There’s no pressure on me,” Sanchez told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I’m the underdog. I’m expected to get killed and murdered and worse than the first time. Who knows whatever other people want to think and count me out? That’s fine. That’s been the story of my life and the story of my Bellator career thus far. There’s always going to be the bigger guy, the stronger guy, this guy, that guy. It’s all well and good. Shorter, tall, big, or small, they all will fall.”

Friday’s main event will the second time Sanchez gets a crack at Freire’s belt. At Bellator 209 in November 2018, Sanchez lost a unanimous decision to Freire in a back-and-forth fight. More than two years later, Sanchez thinks he’s sharpened up his game – contrary to recent comments made by Freire, which stated otherwise.

“I’m going to really let it all loose in there and trust my instincts and believe in my greatness,” Sanchez said. “I know the first time it was a little more finding my potential, seeing, and almost feeling his power, his speed, his strength, his stamina, knowing that at that time, he was still champ-champ and one of the best. Now, he just went out to prove it, defeating Michael Chandler and becoming the lightweight champion, then, defending his title throughout this run that we’re on.”

Freire hasn’t lost since August 2016, but that doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable, according to Sanchez. For Freire’s recent grand prix performances, Sanchez was scouting from close by and he sees holes in the champion’s game that have not yet been exposed.

“I’ve had the pleasure of being cageside for all these fights that he’s recently had,” Sanchez said. “I still see those holes. I still see those openings that I know I can capitalize on. He’s faced great fighters that had the potential to beat him, but they didn’t have the style to beat him. I know I do.”

Bellator 255 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena. The entire card streams on MMA Junkie.