Former Bellator lightweight title challenger, Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire is set to make his return under the Bellator banner in the co-main event of Bellator 249 on October 15th. – drawing promotional returning, former LFA welterweight best, Jaleel ‘The Realest’ Willis – in a 155-pound pairing.
Freire, the older brother of current two-weight world champion, Patrício ‘Pitbull’ – was scheduled to headline Bellator Dublin 2 on October 3rd. opposite Peter ‘The Showstopper’ Queally – with the latter suffering a broken hand ahead of the event, which was ultimately shelved amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Hoping to return to the win-column, Freire dropped the Rizin Fighting Federation lightweight Grand Prix finale to Tofiq Musayev via unanimous decision in December of last year at Rizin 20. The defeat marked the Brazilian’s first in seven fights.
Making his promotional return, Willis arrives back under the Bellator banner sporting a 13-2 professional résumé claiming the vacant LFA welterweight crown with a unanimous decision win over Vinicius de Jesus in his last outing. News of the co-headlining tilt was initially reported by MMA Junkie reporter, Nolan King.
Freire, 34, will feature under the Bellator banner for the first time since Bellator Newcastle in February of last year, where he scored a split decision win over Ryan Scope.
The former Bellator lightweight title challenger has scored eye-catching wins over the likes of Josh Thomson, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Roger Huerta, Derek Campos (x2), Benson Henderson, Saad Awad, and Toby Imada.
A renowned striker, Willis has scored five finishes via knockout since his professional debut back in April of 2014. Scoring notable wins, the 28-year-old Memphis native has managed to take triumphs opposite Omar Johnson, Nolan Norwood, Dakota Bush, James Warfield-Lane, and the above noted, de Jesus to name a few.
Bellator 249 takes place from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on October 15th. – with a featherweight title clash between Cris Cyborg, and one-time title challenger, Arlene Blenclowe taking main event status.