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Patricio Freire will look to exit the Bellator featherweight grand prix the same way he enters it – as champion. And his journey starts Saturday night.
At Bellator 228, Freire (29-4 MMA, 17-4 BMMA) returns to battle undefeated Juan Archuleta (23-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) in the main event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
In his last outing, Freire knocked out Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler in 61 seconds to become a dual titleholder. “Pitbull” will look to bring that momentum into the first round of the 145-pound tournament.
MMA Junkie recently caught up with Freire, and you can check out the Q&A below.
Can you recap your most recent fights, starting with the TKO loss to Benson Henderson, followed by your current winning streak? Why have you been fighting just once or twice a year?
I see that fight (with Henderson) as if I was in a bicycle race but suffered a flat tire. As I see it, at all times in which we were actually fighting, I was better than him. Even though I left with a broken leg, and my record shows a TKO loss, I see myself as the winner. If anyone wants to ask for a rematch, it should be him. Since that time, I have been successful in my bouts.
Against Daniel Weichel, I was superior to him even though one of the judges gave him the nod. I continued my winning streak against Emmanuel Sanchez more recently. I won, even though I had been dealing with health problems. I’d rather not talk about it, but I was sick during the actual fight. I’m always asking Bellator to fight more frequently. The only reason that hasn’t happened is because they haven’t been booking me very often.
If you dislike your opponent, couldn’t that negatively affect your performance?
Being emotional before a fight is never good, but I know how to control my emotions and stick to my strategy.
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