Patricky Pitbull: Now it is my turn to join Patricio as a champion

Over three years ago, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire lost in the season four lightweight tournament final and he will compete in his second tournament final on Friday night when he meets Marcin Held in the co-main event of Bellator 126. Patricky Pitbull

In the season four final, he lost a decision to Michael Chandler and went 1-3 in his next four fights.

When the season ten tournament begin, there were people questioning him and his future with the promotion. With knockout victories over David Rickels and Derek Campos in this tournament, the critics have gone quite and this is something that Pitbull has not forgotten about.

“I’m sure I shut the mouths of a lot of critics by gaining three straight wins and two knockouts,” Pitbull said. “And the mouths of a lot of people that said they rooted for me and were with me in the tough moments, but this time were rooting against me or thinking I would lose. So I’m pretty sure I shut the mouths of a lot of people.

His win over Campos secured his spot in the tournament final against Held and he is one win away from a title shot. While being very happy with his victory in the semifinals, he will not be content until he wins this tournament.

“I was very happy by having defeated Derek Campos,” he said. “But my happiness is still not complete. I will only be truly content when I win the tournament. I’ve already gone through these emotions and I felt less happy than the other times I found victory in the cage. There wasn’t much celebration. We celebrated between us at the hotel, myself, Patricio and our trainer, and the day after I was already with Bethe Correia for her fight. When I got back home I was very well received by my teammates and friends.”

Since Pitbull entered Bellator in 2011, he is known for his knockout power as he has scored the most TKO/KO wins in the Bellator lightweight division. While he is known for his power in both of his hands, he has no issues taking the fight to the ground and showing off his Jiu-Jitsu.

“Fans haven’t seen much of my Jiu-Jitsu because I like to stand and trade,” Pitbull said. “If I’m winning on the stand up, why will I take it to the ground? I don’t see a necessity to take the fight to the ground as of now. I think several black belts look for Jiu-Jitsu because they don’t feel comfortable striking. If I did this game of looking for the ground, looking for the submission, maybe I would be more lethal, but I still don’t see a necessity to do it.”

“The Americans are very good in wrestling and are learning Jiu-Jitsu really well. If I looked to fight on the ground maybe they’d stall more. So I don’t see a reason in that. I think a ground match only flows when both want to do it or when one guy knows how to do it well and the other doesn’t. When one knows and the other only wants to stall, there’s no action.”

His opponent on Friday night is known for his submissions and both of Held’s wins in this tournament have come by submission. Pitbull is well aware how good Held is on the ground, but he feels his grappling game is better than his opponent.

“I believe my grappling is better than his anyway, and my stand up is better than his, my jiu jitsu is better than his and my conditioning is better than his. He’s got one key submission and it’s predictable, so it’s not very difficult to prepare for his game.”

Winning this tournament for Pitbull would be a dream come true and he would use the money earned from the fight to become a better mixed martial artist, including improving his wrestling. Along with this becoming a dream come true, he would be one win away from joining his brother Patricio as a Bellator champion.

“It was a great feeling to see my brother Patricio become a world champion,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier for him. And now it is my turn to join him as a champion. He was the first Pitbull brother to bring a belt home, but he won’t be the last. First I have to get through Marcin Held, and then I’m coming for that belt.”