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Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Weichel featherweight title rematch to headline Bellator 188

Patricio Pitbull Freire EL
Patricio “Pitbul”l Freire
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Weichel is getting a second chance to tame “Pitbull”.

In the first defense of his second reign as Bellator featherweight champion, Patricio Freire (26-4) takes on Weichel (39-9) in a rematch of their June 2015 championship encounter that Freire won by second-round KO. The promotion announced Wednesday that the bout has been booked as the main event of Bellator 188 at the Menora Mivtachim Arena Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel on Nov. 16.

In the middleweight co-main event, John Salter (14-3) fights Anatoly Tokov (25-3).

Also scheduled to make appearances, whether in action or in a promotional capacity, are Israeli fighters Noad Lahat and Haim Gozali, and Dutch kickboxing standout Denise Kielholtz.

Freire won back the 145-pound title with a second-round submission over Daniel Straus at Bellator 178 this past April. It was the fourth meeting between the two men and the victory gave the 30-year-old Brazilian a commanding 3-1 lead in their series. Freire is 9-1 in his past 10 outings at featherweight, including two successful title defenses during his first run as champion.

He recently told MMA Fighting that he expected Weichel to be his next opponent.

“He has earned another title shot,” Freire said. “I'm a champion and I have to defend my belt, but this is someone I already knocked out. Before the knockout, he knocked me down hard and paid for it. It’s going to be a good fight. He’s a well-rounded fighter and we will put on a show for the fans.”

Since losing to Freire two years ago, Weichel has gone 4-0 in the Bellator cage and he has seen his hand raised in 11 of his last 12 fights. The 32-year-old German holds notable wins over Pat Curran and Georgi Karakhanyan.

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