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Ask objective mixed martial arts observers to identify the most accomplished and consistent fighter in Bellator MMA history, and the majority of them will likely settle on one name: Patricio Freire.
“Pitbull”—a rare simultaneous two-division champion—currently holds titles in Bellator’s 145- and 155-pound weight classes, as he reclaimed the featherweight crown in April 2017 before capturing the lightweight belt a little more than two years later. Freire made his first Bellator appearance in 2010 and emerged as a potential cornerstone for the company by winning 12 of his first 14 bouts. Now widely recognized as one of the Top 10 featherweights in the sport, the Brazilian dynamo finds himself on a five-fight winning streak, his stock continuing to soar.
As Freire awaits his next assignment, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
32: Years of age. Freire was born on July 7, 1987 in Natal, Brazil.
14: Consecutive victories to start his career. Freire made his professional debut as a 16-year-old in 2004 and finished 11 of his first 14 opponents.
18: Wins under the Bellator MMA banner, placing Freire atop the promotion’s all-time list. Eight of those victories have come in title fights.
2: Tournament championships in Bellator. Freire won the Season 4 featherweight tournament in 2011 and the Season 9 featherweight tournament in 2013. He was the runner-up in the Season 2 featherweight tournament in 2010.
11: Victories by submission on his resume, accounting for more than a third of his total. Freire has secured five wins by guillotine choke, two by rear-naked choke, two by heel hook, one by armbar and one by kimura.
10: Career wins by knockout or technical knockout. Daniel Weichel, Justin Wilcox and Wilson Reis are among Freire’s victims.
61: Seconds needed to stop Michael Chandler with punches and capture the lightweight championship at Bellator 221 on May 11—the fastest finish of Freire’s career to date. He zapped Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Diego Nunes in 79 seconds at Bellator 99.
92: Combined victories between the four men—Benson Henderson, Daniel Straus, Pat Curran and Joe Warren—who have beaten “Pitbull.” The losses to Curran and Warren resulted from split decisions.
5: Successful title defenses in Bellator, all of them at 145 pounds. Freire’s first run as featherweight champion saw him defend the throne against Straus and Weichel, while his current reign has seen him turn away Weichel, Emmanuel Sanchez and Juan Archuleta.
4: Countries in which Freire has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. He owns a 12-0 record in Brazil, a 16-4 record in the United States, a 1-0 record in Israel and a 1-0 record in Italy.
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