Patricio “Pitbull” Freire Steps Up on Short Notice to Defend Featherweight Title

Patricio “Pitbull” Freire has become known in the world of Bellator for his relentless spirit. This trait is not just limited to his aggression and determination inside the cage but also extends to his unwavering desire to compete. Recently, Freire announced that he will defend his featherweight championship against Jeremy Kennedy at Bellator Champions Series Belfast on March 22, with only three weeks’ notice. This decision showcases Pitbull’s commitment to his craft and his willingness to step up to any challenge presented to him.

Freire, with a professional record of 34-7, was initially set to participate in the PFL champions vs. Bellator champions event in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, his opponent Jesus Pinedo pulled out a week prior to the competition. Subsequently, Gabriel Braga was selected as a replacement, but he failed to meet the fitness requirements at the weigh-ins. Despite these setbacks, the 36-year-old Brazilian fighter did not hesitate to accept the opportunity to defend his title at Bellator’s standalone event post the company’s acquisition by PFL in November.

Although Freire has not defended his featherweight belt since October 2022, he has remained active in the fighting scene. His recent string of matches includes a nontitle bout on a Bellator vs. Rizin card, an unsuccessful attempt to win the bantamweight title, and battles against top opponents from the Japanese fight promotion Rizin. Despite facing two consecutive losses, Pitbull’s determination and resilience remain unwavering.

On the other side, Jeremy Kennedy, with a record of 19-3, 1 NC, has been on a remarkable streak, losing only once in his last eight fights. Originally slated to face James Gallagher at the Belfast card, Kennedy’s fortunes took a sudden turn as he now finds himself on the cusp of a title shot against the reigning champion. This unexpected opportunity presents a significant moment in Kennedy’s career, allowing him to showcase his skills on a grand stage.

With the addition of the Freire vs. Kennedy title bout, the Bellator Champions Series Belfast promises to be action-packed. Alongside this featherweight showdown, fans can also look forward to another title fight between Corey Anderson and Karl Moore for the vacant light heavyweight championship. The departure of Vadim Nemkov, relocating to the heavyweight division, has set the stage for a new champion to emerge in the light heavyweight category. Overall, the event presents an exciting lineup of fights that are sure to captivate MMA enthusiasts worldwide.

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