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Patricio Freire interested in fighting for Rizin FF, open to lightweight bout

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Focused on his upcoming featherweight title defense against Daniel Straus at Bellator 145, Patricio Freire wants to make a dream come true in 2015.

With former PRIDE head Nobuyuki Sakakibara returning to the MMA world as president of Rizin Fighting Federation in December, "Pitbull" is open to fighting in Japan by the end of the year.

"I’d love to fight in Japan. I always dreamed about this when I was a kid and started watching PRIDE, so I would love to fight there," Freire told MMAFighting.com. "I already asked for an opportunity to fight at Glory, but I’d like to fight at Rizin more. I need to see what plans they have for me, but I’d like to fight in rules I trained for a long time, with soccer kicks and all that."

Rizin FF has two events scheduled in December, on the 29th and 31st, including bouts like Shinya Aoki vs. Kazushi Sakuraba and the return of Fedor Emelianenko. "Pitbull" started his MMA career in 2004, and would love to throw some soccer kicks in a fight and stomp his opponents again.

"I miss it," he said. "I believe I fought five or six times under those rules, with soccer kicks, and my brother (Patricky Freire) also has three knockouts with stomps and soccer kicks. It’s been a while since I last fought, so I want this again."

Rizin FF has a partnership with Bellator MMA, but Freire’s belt wouldn’t be on the line if he fought in Japan. With no need to stick to the 145-pound division, "Pitbull" is willing to compete against lightweights.

"They like to match giants against smaller guys in Japan, so I’d like to fight a heavier opponent," Freire said. "I’d like this type of fight, against a stronger opponent.

"When the fight starts, I unleash the pitbull, and that works in any weight."