Patricio “Pitbull” Freire secured a title shot by capturing Bellator’s Season 9 featherweight tournament at Bellator 108. “Pitbull” turned in a dominant effort in the final against Justin Wilcox, stopping his opponent at the 2:23 mark of the first round in Atlantic City.
Freire was aggressive from the opening bell and was able to land a solid left hand early in the fight. Wilcox was unable to mount much of an offense and paid the price as the hard-charging Brazilian landed a terrific left-right combination that stunned “The Silverback.” He followed up with another right to the temple that had Wilcox disoriented, and then it was a full-on swarm by “Pitbull” until the flurry of punches finally halted the fight.
It was the second time he had captured a Bellator featherweight tournament. Freire picked up his 16th career stoppage in improving to 21-2. He was dominant throughout in recording victories against Wilcox, Fabricio Guerreiro and Diego Nunes.
He’ll receive his next title shot against newly-crowned champion Daniel Straus, who captured the title at Bellator 106 in a dominant performance against Pat Curran. He outworked Curran throughout the course of the five-round affair gaining revenge for a previous knockout loss.
The title matchup has the prospects of being an exciting affair. Straus prides himself on his grinding style and is a tireless worker with solid skills as he showed in his title-winning effort. He’s currently riding a five-fight win streak in Bellator and has won his last six fights overall.
As for Freire, he’s also riding a hot streak, having reeled off four consecutive victories. He’s 9-2 inside the Bellator cage with his only losses coming by split decision against Joe Warren and in a title challenge against Curran. The two talented 145-pound competitors are no strangers to one another as “Pitbull” defeated Straus via decision in the final of Bellator’s Season 4 featherweight tournament final.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports