One of Bellator MMA's most dangerous Lightweight standouts, Patricky "Pitbull" Freire, is headed back to the Decagon for a rematch against Derek Anderson at Bellator 147 this Friday evening (Dec. 4, 2015) inside San Jose State University Event Center in San Jose, California.
It's been somewhat of an up-and-down year for the Brazilian, who got back on the winning track in August after a lackluster loss to grappling wizard Marcin Held in Sept. 2014 by turning back the well-rounded Saad Awad.
However, he and his younger brother, Patricio Freire, were involved in an altercation with 155-pound champion Will Brooks early in November, with none of the parties involved receiving disciplinary action for their roles in the incident by the Missouri athletic commission.
That was good news for Freire, who is hoping to put his aggression to good use and put a stamp on this second fight with "Barbaric."
The elder Pitbull brother recently spoke to MMAmania.com about his nagging neck injury, if Anderson's previous win was a fluke, as well as his side of the brawl that went down with "Ill Will."
First the neck injury, which he sustained a few years ago while training with Team Nogueira.
"It was just another injury, nothing really serious. It's nothing to write home about. Eighty to 90 percent of fighters go into fights injured. Most of the time we have some [kind of] injury here and there. It's nothing for me to really worry about."
The 29-year-old discussed whether it actually hindered him during his 1-4 run between 2011-13.
"No, not at all. I don't really remember the time I actually had this. It was a few years ago, but it didn't have an impact in my fights. It never really bothered me in any fights. I've took tests before, everything is alright. It's just something that's normal to me. It hasn't had an impact on my performance in camps, or anything. Me, losing those fights, it had to do with my depression and the consequences of it in my life. The hard things I was going through -- as well as financial. Nothing to do with injury."
Freire almost cinched up the fight-ending triangle choke over Anderson in round one of their Sept. 2013 bout, but ultimately lost via unanimous decision. He doesn't consider this a fluke victory for the American.
"It wasn't a fluke, it was more of the fact I underestimated him. I went to Orlando to help with Team Nogueira there and I stayed there for a while without preparing properly. I didn't think he was anything special at the time so I didn't really take training for him seriously. I was coming off of a long layoff, almost a year, and from losses as well. It of course had some weight on my performance."
The heavy-handed Lightweight made mention of what was to blame exactly for his underachieving, which saw him ousted by ex-Bellator lightweight kings Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler.
"I start strong, very explosive, like I used to do in my fights and I'm not doing that anymore. I was fading in the later rounds because I was lacking rhythm and it was a long time without a fight. My cardio deteriorated a bit. I won't be taking a single step backward. I'm going to be going after him during the entire fight."
Freire has had a well-documented rivalry with the champion Brooks, both on social media and in-person. He says a title shot is inevitable and believes he will be the next to challenge the American Top Team (ATT) representative with a win over Anderson.
"Will Brooks is a very good fighter, but he's not exceptional. His fights aren't exciting to watch, but he gets the job done. He's very good with strategy and he paces himself. I believe this fight is inevitable. I believe I'm next in line. I was assured a title shot after my last fight. It's a fight I'd have to be a bit cautious for, to not be dragged into his strategy and let him take me down. I know I have what it takes to get that belt."
He also gave his take on Brooks' personality and blasted him for being a poor teammate and training partner.
"If the media took time to find out who's the real Will Brooks and the talk to his training partners and coaches they would know that he's an arrogant prick. He's cocky and disrespectful. He pays no mind to his training partners and hurts them in practice. He doesn't even say good morning ... or hello. He behaves like he's superior to the guys at the gym. He's not a good person and he has a fake persona. He wants to portray himself as a momma's boy. It's a very common knowledge on the inside."
The Pitbull brothers maintain their side of the story and say that their brawl with Brooks was initiated not by them.
"Tell me about someone who would be walking with his brother and see him get punched in the face and not do something. You have to stick up for family. I wasn't the one who threw the first punch. He was the one who started this. It just started from a comment my brother made to him saying, 'Hey Will, if you're looking for a fighter. Patricky will do it.' He got offended, but he called me out before. When people try to get in our face, things are going to get ugly. If you talk shit to us, we're going to hit back."
Lastly, we discussed how Freire sees his rematch with Team Xplode's Anderson playing out.
"I think I'm going to hurt him a lot and cut him all over his face and then I'll finish him with either a knockout or submission. The rematch, I expect to do a very different fight. I'm training hard. I expect it to be one of my best performances in a while. I know he's got good cardio and he'll be ready for a war, but I'm not going to give up and I'm not going to back down at anytime. If it has to be a three-round, bloody war, it has to be."
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