Bellator 103's Patricio 'Pitbull' remains focused on singular goal: world title
by Matt Erickson on Oct 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm ET
Patricio Freire finds himself back in familiar territory on Friday night.
"Pitbull" has made a career of rocketing through Bellator's featherweight tournaments. But he's fallen short of the ultimate goal, which is a Bellator title.
Against Fabricio Guerreiro (19-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) at Bellator 103, Freire (19-2 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) will try to take his latest step toward what would be his second Bellator tournament title, all hoping to work his way back to another title shot.
Bellator 103 takes place Friday at Kansas Star Arena at Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, just south of Wichita. The main card airs on Spike TV after prelims at Spike.com.
"I believe in myself, I know what I am and what I need to do to someday be the best in the division," Freire told MMAjunkie.com. "And nothing and nobody will make me believe that I can't do this. I'm going all the way until the end and I will be the champion."
Freire got to the finals of the Season 2 featherweight tournament, where he lost a split decision to Joe Warren, who went on to win the title. But he rebounded by winning the Season 4 tournament to get a shot at new champion Pat Curran.
Against Curran, though, he again saw his dream shut down – by another split decision.
But if ever there was a way to show the world he was ready for another tournament crown and another title shot, it was with his 79-second knockout of UFC veteran Diego Nunes at Bellator 99 in September to open the tournament.
Against Guerreiro, is a 9-to-1 favorite and has been as much as a 14-to-1 favorite with the oddsmakers coming into the fight. It's by far the most lopsided fight on paper he's been in under the Bellator banner.
But he's not taking anything for granted, even if he believes he has the edge across the board.
"I think he's a true warrior who fights to win," Freire said. "He always comes forward with a lot of hustle, and that fascinates me. It is going to be a great fight. Against Fabricio, I know I must be prepared for the way he does the back leg kicks – he likes to apply the overhand, too, and the arm-triangle choke on the floor. But what I really care is with what I'm doing – my preparation.
"My advantages over Fabricio Guerreiro will be my speed, strength, endurance, striking and grappling. I'm not being cocky. I just think I'm a better fighter than he is in all aspects. But a fight is a fight, and technically an inferior fighter can hit you with only one punch and win."
If he stays out of situations that could lead to Guerreiro pulling off the upset and moves into the finals, where he would meet the winner Justin Wilcox vs. Joe Taimanglo, he'll be one step closer to the goal that has been a constant for him since he came to Bellator as a 12-0 fighter from Brazil.
"When someone watches me fight, that person will see in action one of the most exciting fighters in the world," he said. "It doesn't matter if this fighter is losing or winning. I will always fight with all my heart and desire. Everyone can expect to see a fighter with so much determination and drive by one goal."
For the latest on Bellator 103, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
This guy has no talent.