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Patricky Freire vows to ‘punish’ Saad Awad, go after Bellator champ Will Brooks next

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It took almost a year for Patricky Freire to return to action, and he doesn’t intend to spend much time inside the Bellator cage on Friday night.

The lightweight veteran, who hasn’t fought since a decision loss to 155-pound contender Marcin Held last September, faces Saad Awad in the co-main event of Bellator 141 in Temecula, but that wasn’t the fight he got in mind for his return.

"They offered me a fight against David Rickels and I turned it down because that’s nothing for me to gain with this fight, it wouldn’t get me closer to the title," Freire told MMAFighting.com. "I asked for two different opponents and both declined, I don’t know why. Unfortunately, I only got a fight now."

Earlier this week, Freire met Awad at the hotel in Temecula, and security had to work to keep them away from each other.

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 Quarta, 26 de agosto de 2015

"I’m looking forwards to beat up this guy," Freire said. "Inside the cage, I will beat him up and make him regret everything he said. Sometimes Americans talk like that to make a name for themselves on Twitter, but look like scared puppies when they meet you. Everyone is brave on Twitter."

Awad, who scored a 43-second knockout over current champion Will Brooks in 2013, enters the fight coming off three straight wins, but "Pitbull" says he hasn’t fought tough competition recently.

"He hasn’t fought tough guys like I did," said the Brazilian. "He fought tough guys like Will Brooks and David Rickels and lost to both of them. The guys he beat aren’t good, and he won by decision. I expect to knock this guy out as quickly as possible."

Awad was only knocked out twice during his 24-fight career, but Freire expects to finish him at the Pechanga Resort & Casino. But how fast will the fight end? That depends on how aggressive Awad is, Freire explains.

"I believe he will try to trade with me, and I’m going straight forward. I want to put my hands on his face, and he will find out how heavy they are," he said. "I will punch his face, and he will be afraid, and that’s when I’ll finish this fight. If he’s more cautious, I will punish him and finish in the second or third rounds."

The Bellator lightweight championship will be on the line on Nov. 6, when Brooks takes on Held at Bellator 145, and Freire is hopeful he gets the next shot at the gold.

"A lot of people keep talking about this, that the winner of this fight might get the next shot at the title. Even Will Brooks said that he might face the winner next. I believe it could happen," Freire said. "He’s fighting Marcin Held in November, but who knows who’s next. I want to fight again by the end of the year."

"I have to win this fight first, and then think about what’s next," he continued. "I can’t think about the title right now. I’ve made this mistake before and lost. This time, I want to fight my fight and earn a shot at the title. Step by step, I’ll keep winning and getting closer to the belt. I would like to fight for the title this year already, but it won’t be possible."

Patricky’s brother Patricio Freire is the current Bellator featherweight champion, and the heavier of the two wants to take another belt to the gym in Natal, Brazil.

"It would be unprecedented. Two brothers holding titles at the same promotion," Patricky Freire said. "It would get more media for Bellator and out team, for sure. Everybody would be curious to find out what’s different about our team and our training. We’ve been doing a great job over the past three years, Bethe (Correia) fought for the UFC title, and many other athletes are doing well.

"It would be wonderful for our team to have two Bellator titles. We will be champions, we will make history."