Bellator MMA’s all-time leader in knockouts, Patricky Freire, delighted fight fans who woke up early enough to see his Lightweight Grand Prix quarter-final bout with Tatsuya Kawajiri earlier today (Sat., Oct. 12, 2019) at RIZIN 19 live on FITE.TV from Osaka, Japan, as “Pitbull” put a brutal stop to the Japanese veteran via first-round TKO (flying knee and punches).
Freire, who has only competed under the Bellator MMA banner since 2011, was looking to make a big splash in his RIZIN debut. The 33-year-old veteran did just that one minute into the first round of his clash with Kawajiri, who was coming off a unanimous decision win over Ali Abdulkhalikov back in July.
After finding a home for a sensational flying knee that caught Kawajiri on the side of the head, Freire followed his efforts up with furious ground-and-pound as the Japanese fighter struggled to compose himself. “Pitbull” didn’t let off the gas and the referee stepped in for the quick, and very memorable, TKO stoppage.
Check out the highlights above.
With this performance, Freire cashes in big time on his RIZIN debut and will now advance to the semi-final round of the lightweight tourney against fellow Brazilian finisher Luiz Gustavo, who ended Hiroto Uesako via first-round TKO in his quarter-final bout at RIZIN 19. The next round of fights is scheduled for Dec. 29 at the Saitama Super Arena with the Grand Prix finale coming two days later on New Year’s Eve.