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Patricio Freire: Daniel Straus trilogy doesn’t make sense

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator booked a trilogy bout between Patricio Freire and Daniel Straus for Nov. 6 in St. Louis, but the featherweight champion doesn’t agree with the decision. "Pitbull" beat Straus twice under the Bellator banner, and believes the promotion should have taken a different direction.

"I saw four names that could have been my next fight," Freire told "(Pat) Curran, who bounced between a loss and a win after I beat him; (Daniel) Straus, who fought me twice and lost; (Daniel) Weichel and (Georgi) Karakhanyan.

"Karakhanyan was getting the next shot, but I believe he’s still injured, so Bellator decided to give Straus the shot. I don’t know if it makes sense, I don’t think it does. I beat him twice, he never beat me. A trilogy bout doesn’t make sense to me. But it’s fine, I’m an employee and I’m here to fight. I just want to fight."

In his last title defense, Freire was rocked and almost finished by Daniel Weichel in the first round, but came back and scored a vicious knockout 32 seconds into the second round. For those reasons, the Brazilian featherweight believes Weichel deserved an immediate rematch.

"Some people thought I landed a lucky punch in the second round, even though I always use that left hook. Some people thought I was going to get knocked out, so book a rematch," he said. "Maybe that would have made more sense, but they wanted to go with Straus. I guess they want him as champion."

The featherweight champion is 2-0 against Straus, but he doesn’t expect to easily go 3-0 over the American Top Team product.

"He evolved between the first and second losses, so he will probably be better this time," Freire said. "He surprised me with a knockdown, the fight was close, and I submitted him. I heard he’s working on his jiu-jitsu, training with the gi, so he’s trying to evolve. But I’m doing the same. I worked on mistakes I’ve made and I will come back stronger."

"Pitbull" praises Straus’ evolution, but plans to finish him one more time at Bellator 145.

"His boxing is better, he’s throwing good kicks now, but he forgot his roots, his wrestling," said the Brazilian. "He won’t want to be submitted this time. He’s going there to try to survive on the ground, and I’m going there to kill him."

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