Patricky "Pitbull" Freire burst onto the scene when he made his Bellator debut in 2011, viciously knocking out both Rob McCullough and Toby Imada to nearly win the season four tournament.
It was through Bellator that the Brazilian got his opportutnity, just like his younger brother Patricio, who's currently the number one contender at 145 pounds for the promotion.
So with that being said, Patricky was incensed when he saw a video of former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez acting all buddy buddy with UFC President Dana White on national television at the UFC on Fox 3 event earlier this year.
After all, Alvarez still had another fight on his Bellator contract before he could leave the promotion.
Feeling the need to defend Bellator's honor. Pitbull asked if he could be the one to fight Alvarez in his final Bellator bout. He got his wish and will be fighting Alvarez this Friday night (Oct. 13, 2012) in the main event of Bellator 76 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Freire spoke with MMAmania.com (through a translator) earlier today about defending Bellator's honor against Alvarez, not giving Alvarez a chance to recover if he hurts him and fighting for the memory of his former coach in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): With Patricio in your corner, are you going to have to make sure not to punch him in the face during your warm-up this time around?
Patricky Pitbull: (Patricky laughs and Patricio also laughs in background) That's no problem. I throw my hands and Patricio learned how to try and hold it for me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You hurt your arm in your last fight. How long did it take before you were fully recovered and ready to get back to training again?
Patricky Pitbull: I was hoping for a month but it ended up being 45 days.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Did you take any lesson from your coach, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's injury, making sure you were healthy before coming back and training?
Patricky Pitbull: Rodrigo always gave me words of advice, comforting me and saying "don't worry. Everything will be fine." I always believed because Rodrigo is always the one that overcomes everything and there's no one more capable than him of saying that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned in a prior interview that you neglected your jiu-jitsu heading into your last fight against Lloyd Woodard. What steps did you take in training to rectify that?
Patricky Pitbull: I trained jiu-jitsu and try to correct my mistakes. I was embarrassed because Brazilians come from jiu-jitsu. They can't be submitted by an American so I trained a lot so that never happens again to me. I won't let the same mistakes happen to me again.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Eddie Alvarez was shown on video next to Dana White at the UFC on FOX 3 show in New Jersey and Patricky actually asked for this fight. What were your feelings when you saw Eddie with Dana despite him still being under contract with Bellator?
Patricky Pitbull: I thought it was a complete disrespect to Bjorn [Rebney] and the entire Bellator organization. Even though he had said bad things about me, after I saw that, I had a big desire to fight him.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like you're representing Bellator for this fight against an outsider because it's heavily rumored that Alvarez will be leaving after this fight?
Patricky Pitbull: Yeah, of course. I feel like he's underestimating the Bellator fighters and he doesn't even care for the organization because it's his last fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You had the potential to fight Alvarez if you had defeated Michael Chandler in the finals of the Bellator season four lightweight tournament. Do you feel this is a second chance for you?
Patricky Pitbull: I'm very happy. I think it's an excellent opportunity that this event is giving to me and I'm content that Bellator has given me this opportunity.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): No matter how good his performance, it always seems like Alvarez gets tagged and hurt at one point in nearly every one of his fights. Do you feel like if you hurt him, he wouldn't be able to come back like he normally does?
Patricky Pitbull: If a good punch of mine connects, he's not getting up anymore. If he falls, I'm going to crush his head on the ground.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): With so many of your teammates fighting in Brazil for the UFC on Saturday, do you feel like you've got the same amount of support for this fight on Friday?
Patricky Pitbull: I had much support back home with my coaches because my fight was announced before theirs. I had lots of time to work.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Your Nogueira gym is one of the best in the world for heavier Brazilians. As a lightweight, do you ever have issues training against fighters your own size?
Patricky Pitbull: My gym is known for more heavyweight fighters but there are much more fighters in the lighter weights than in the heavier weights. They just haven't had the opportunity to show themselves. There's several great fighters that I had ready to help me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What's your motivation for this fight?
Patricky Pitbull: My motivation is the same as always but this time, I fight for Bellator because I want to show everyone that Bellator is a big event. He's a top fighter and I want to show everyone I can beat a top fighter.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): If you defeat Eddie, what do you think that would do for your standing in the lightweight division?
Patricky Pitbull: I have a very big notion of everything that's going on. Sometimes I'm surprised that people recognize me when I'm going places. That's new to me. I think if I beat Alvarez, I will be among the top guys, top 15 or higher.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I saw your banner for this fight and your late coach Bruno Gouvea is in the center. Do you draw inspiration from him and do you plan on always having him on your banners?
Patricky Pitbull: Him being on my banner doesn't matter per se, it's more that he's just with me for every one of my fights. The reason I put his picture on my banner now is because his death was still pretty recent and I haven't had to have a victory for him and I wanted it to be an homage.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): If everything goes perfectly for you on Friday, how would you like the fight to finish?
Patricky Pitbull: Knockout
Patricky would like to thank his sponsors Ricardo Sergio, Analitica, Future Legend, his conditioning coach and Team Nogueira. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickyPitbull.