Patricio Freire on his current trajectory could go down as the greatest fighter in Bellator MMA history, and he still has plenty of time to build upon his legacy.
“Pitbull” will risk his 145-pound championship against Pedro Carvalho in the 2019-20 Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix quarterfinals, as the two men are scheduled to lock horns in the Bellator 252 main event on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Freire enters the cage on the strength of a five-fight winning streak, though he has not competed since he turned away Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision at Bellator 228 a little more than a year ago. Meanwhile, Carvalho has rattled off six straight victories, but he has not fought since he submitted Sam Sicilia in the second round of their Bellator 226 encounter on Sept. 7, 2019.
As Freire and Carvalho approach their high-stakes showdown, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
33: Years of age for Freire. He was born on July 7, 1987 in Natal, Brazil.
10: Freire wins by knockout or technical knockout, providing him with 33% of his professional total (30). His extensive list of victims includes Michael Chandler, Daniel Weichel, Diego Nunes, Wilson Reis and Georgi Karakhanyan.
1,300: Days spent by Freire as undisputed featherweight champion during his current stay atop the division. It ranks as the second-longest single title reign in Bellator history. Freire trails only Julia Budd in the promotional record book, as she spent 1,340 days—from March 3, 2017 to Jan. 25, 2020—in possession of the women’s featherweight crown.
14: Consecutive victories to start Freire’s career. His undefeated run ended with a split decision loss to Joe Warren at Bellator 23 in June 2010. A model of consistency, Freire still has never suffered back-to-back losses.
3: Multi-division champions in Bellator history. Freire currently holds titles in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. Warren and Ryan Bader are the only other fighters to capture belts in more than one weight class.
25: Years of age for Carvalho, who was born on June 8, 1995 in Guimaraes, Portugal.
6: Submission victories on Carvalho’s ledger, accounting for 55% of his career total (11). His methods of choice: two rear-naked chokes, one triangle choke, one armbar, one guillotine choke and one face crank.
5: Countries in which Carvalho has fought as a professional mixed martial artist. He has gone 5-3 in Portugal, 2-0 in Ireland, 2-0 in England, 1-0 in Italy and 1-0 in the United States.
1: Disqualification loss for Carvalho. He was DQ’d at an Invictus Pro MMA League event on June 20, 2015, when he connected with an illegal knee against Wisma Lima.
0: Knockout defeats on Carvalho’s resume. In fact, he has been finished only once—a rear-naked choke submission defeat to Artur Lemos in his third pro outing seven-plus years ago.