The hotel skirmish between Patricio Freire and Will Brooks the week of Bellator 145 drew headlines last month. It wasn't even Freire's first confrontation with a fellow fighter in the second half of 2015, though.
Back in August, Freire and Georgi Karakhanyan had to be separated during a poster signing the week of Bellator 141. The two were supposed to fight in April before Karakhanyan tore his ACL and have gone back and forth a bit on social media. Freire's wrestling coach Eric Albarracin captured the incident on video.
Tensions were High between fight camps as Patricky and Saad Awad signed posters for This fridays #Bellator141 . Bellator World Champ Patricio Pitbull caught the eye of possíble title contender Georgi Karakanyan , They have been going back on forth on Twitter and their twitter beef carried over into Bellator check In room . Needless to say fireworks ensued. Saad step up to calm down his training partner , Patricky Pitbull got riled up. Joinha and Bellator oficials served as arbitrators . Leandro Higo as ref. Friday the cage closes on Spike TV and Pitbull and Saad will get after it at Bellator141 co-main event and Patricio Pitbull vs.Georgi will have be at a later date as he can't look past another war with former champion Daniel Strauss . Stay tuned.Posted by Eric Albarracin Ultimate Fighter Coach on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Karakhanyan was not too surprised when he heard what happened between Freire, his brother Patricky and Brooks. Brooks ended up calling St. Louis police after claiming he got jumped by the brothers. No police report was filed.
"I thought it was messed up what they did to Brooks," Karakhanyan told MMA Fighting. "We've gotta keep this sport clean. We don't want people to think, 'Man, these motherf*ckers are gangsters, they keep getting in fights the week of the fight.' We've gotta try to keep it as professional as we can. We can't allow that to happen. I guess he's just trying to get his name out there more."
That, in essence, is what Karakhanyan believes Freire, the former Bellator featherweight champ, is trying to do. He does not believe all the trash talk and fight-week outbursts are genuine.
"I think the reality is that he's talking sh*t, saying Conor McGregor this, Conor McGregor that," Karakhanyan said. "But I think someone got in his head and said, 'You know what, maybe you should start talking and start punking fighters, maybe your name will be out there more.' I think that's what he's trying to do.
"If I didn't start my career talking sh*t, then it's pointless to start talking sh*t. I like to do everything through fighting."
He'll do that Friday night against fellow top featherweight contender Daniel Weichel in the co-main event of Bellator 147 in San Jose. Weichel was the man to step in against Freire at Bellator 138 in June. The German submission expert did well, but lost via second-round knockout.
Freire lost the belt against Daniel Straus via unanimous decision at Bellator 145 in November, days after the Brooks scuffle. As much as Karakhanyan (24-4-1) would like a piece of Freire, he'd prefer Straus next if he beats Weichel.
"As far as Patricio not having the belt, it sucks for him," Karakhanyan said. "I'm looking for whoever has the belt. But right now, I have Weichel in front of me. If I win in spectacular fashion, I should get a title shot."
It won't be easy. Weichel is a tough, veteran opponent. Karakhanyan is also only six months removed from an ACL tear. That's almost an unprecedented comeback from that type of injury in MMA. McGregor came back from it in 11 months and people thought that was quick.
"I did all the rehab," Karakhanyan said. "I did some training. My camp was good. I'm 100 percent ready -- mentally and physically. I just can't wait to fight.
"It just separates me from the other guys. I think those guys just think a little too much. If you think too much, it's gonna put you in that dark hole and you might never come out. I feel good. I'm training good. Everything just feels good. I have a good opponent, so I can't complain."
Karakhanyan, 30, doesn't need to hate someone to fight them, hence why he isn't banging down Bellator president Scott Coker's door for another fight with Freire. "Pitbull" beat Karakhanyan back in 2011. The Millennia MMA product only has one loss since. But Freire seems to keep popping up in his life.
"At the poster signing, he was trying to pretty much punk me in front of all his friends," Karakhanyan said. "That didn't work. I gave him good advice. First, I told him I'm gonna send you back to f*cking Brazil. I told him I'm gonna buy him a Rosetta Stone, so we can f*cking understand what you're saying. I don't understand what the f*ck he's saying, especially when he's all mad and screaming. But if he was real mad, he would come and tell me, 'Let's go outside and handle this.' But you don't start screaming. You don't start making a big scene."
Which is why Karakhanyan thinks Freire's persona is a little too processed. Not that it annoys him any less.
"Whatever, man," Karakhanyan said. "I'm gonna keep it professional. But if he gets in my face, I'm gonna f*cking bitch slap him."