Does Patricio Pitbull believe his next title defense should be against Georgi Karakhanyan or Daniel Weichel?

Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is coming off a successful title defense against former champion Daniel Straus at Bellator 132 and is expected to make his next title defense against former WSOF champion Georgi Karakhanyan.

Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA

Karakhanyan secured the title shot on the same night that Pitbull defeated Straus as he defeated Bubba Jenkins by technical submission in the first round.

It was the first fight back in Bellator for Karakhanyan after his exit from the WSOF and does Pitbull agree with Karakhanyan being next for a title shot or does he think season ten tournament winner Daniel Weichel should be next?

“Georgi jumped ahead of the line,” Pitbull told The MMA Report. “The right thing would be for Weichel to fight me. But I’m an employee, as the champion I have to face whoever Bellator matches me up with. If Georgi is the one they want me to fight, so be it.”

Bellator President Scott Coker stated as recently as last month that even though Weichel defeated former champion Pat Curran, Karakhanyan will be next for the Bellator featherweight title. If this ends up being the next fight for Pitbull, it will be his third straight fight that will be a rematch for him.

Back at Bellator 123, he defeated Curran by unanimous decision to win the Bellator title and that was his second fight with Curran. His victory over Straus in January was a rematch of a 2011 bout when Pitbull defeated Straus at Bellator 45. Is Pitbull tired of rematches and would he prefer to face a new opponent?

“This fight against Georgi doesn’t make much sense to me. He got the right to fight me after returning to Bellator and being WSOF champion, but he had just lost his belt,” Pitbull explained. “Left WSOF on a loss. On his return to Bellator, he beat a guy that didn’t have that much of a name and as of now is just a prospect with good wrestling. I think the right thing to do would be to match me up against Weichel, really. So then it would be a new challenge, not a rematch. But every fight to me, being it a rematch or not, is a different fight from the ones I had.”

Fans of Pitbull may have seen that he had a medical procedure done after his win over Straus. Could this delay a potential title defense against Karakhanyan or will he be ready to defend the title shortly?

“I had a procedure with stem cells, I feel better, I restarted practice last week, so I don’t know the level of my injuries as of now, but I keep getting treatment,” said Pitbull. “It’s a regenerative medicine, it’s not an instant recovery, so I have to keep doing what I always do which is physical therapy and strengthening. It has helped me support the pain. I feel fine to fight, let’s see what happens from now on.”

“These injuries have been bugging me since the last tournament I won and were getting worse at each camp to the point I even cancelled the second fight with Curran as the media already knows. I was a bit better for the fight with Straus, but my body was showing me it was breaking down with every camp new injuries happening and the old ones getting worse. My wrestling coach Eric Albarracin got me this opportunity with the Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center and I’m glad he did. I already feel much better, although only at practice will I know how much better. The complete regeneration might take 6 to 12 months in total.”

With Pitbull back in the gym, does he have a targeted date when he would like to defend that title and could that date be June 20, which is the next Bellator “tent pole” event?

“I think the numbers I bring to the organization, the way I fight, it should grant me a tent pole event. I’m the champion, if there’s an event better than another I think I should be fighting on the better one. Fox Sports Brazil did a special on my fight because of me. It was the most watched sports channel in Brazil thanks to my fight. I did the best numbers for Bellator this year even though I read people say there wasn’t that much promotion before the fight and they didn’t promote the fight as a rematch. So I think I’m a reality and with their push I could be even bigger, my spot should be reserved there for the tent pole shows. And headlining it. I’m a big fan of Kimbo, I used to watch his You Tube fights, and I’m a big fan of Ken Shamrock as well. But I think there’s a hierarchy and the champion needs to be respected.”

“I know the business involved and the eyes they’re bringing, but it’s all about promotion, those eyes can be on me and their fans can become my fans. I’ll be more active than both of those guys and I’m just really starting, why not put me on the card? And if I’m there, why bury me as part of their undercard if I’m your champion and the guy with the best fighter mentality you have? A guy who has said time and time again that will fight anyone from 135 to 170? Let’s throw in multiple belts at the conversation as well. I’m here to build a legacy, not just collect pay checks. Give me the means to that and I’ll be the one pulling 2-3 million plus viewers, and doing that several times a year.”