What does Bellator 152, Bellator 167 and Bellator 181 all have in common? Patricky Freire and Derek Campos were set to rematch on every single one of those cards, but the fight always got canceled for many different reasons.
Bellator 194 is another try, but this time it looks like it will finally come to fruition.
“Pitbull” and “The Stallion” will meet a second time in the co-main event of Friday’s Bellator event at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, and the Brazilian admits that it was tough to get super excited for this fight after seeing it get booked and then canceled three times since 2016.
”I even lost count of how many times this rematch was booked [laughs],” Freire told MMA Fighting. “I even told my manager, ‘man, this fight is not supposed to happen.’ They booked it many times and it never happens.”
”Sometimes it’s not even exciting anymore to agree to this, but when you start training and the fight gets closer, you get motivated again,” he continued. “I can’t underestimate him, think that it will be easy and you don’t need to train that hard because you already beat him once.”
Campos is on a good winning streak now. Yet, Freire doesn’t think he has evolved a bit in four years.
”If you look closely, (Campos) is a guy that deserves to be in the top 5 and challenge a belt,” he said. “He won four in a row, two knockouts, but I think he hasn’t evolved in anything, to be honest with you. He still does the same things, the same fighting style.
”All of his fights since then, he just wants to brawl. He showed no evolution in the striking area. He’s still the same guy. But he has heart. He’s tough, it’s hard to knock this guy out. I had to beat him a lot, and he wasn’t going out, and sometimes heart trumps technique.”
Freire reveals that he was officially promised a title fight with Primus for February or March, but the promotion ended up removing the offer from the table shortly after.
”I’m sure that I’m the only one that makes sense for a title shot now,” Freire said. “I was promised a title fight but they backtracked later, I don’t know why. But I’m ready. I won’t whine and complain. I have to train and do my job. If they don’t give me a title shot, I just want to stay ative to keep winning and make money.”
”I think I should’ve fought for the belt after Michael Chandler turned it down, but it didn’t happen,” he added. “It seems like everything gravitates around Michael Chandler. The promotion is waiting, doing everything they can so Michal Chandler wins.”
“Pitbull” lost twice to Chandler inside the Bellator cage, and that’s why he’s hoping that Primus is successful in his title defense at Bellator 196, on April 13, so the company has a fresh match-up for the next championship bout.
”I think Chandler has bad luck,” Freire said. “I don’t know the right word for it, but I remember that he lost twice to Will Brooks. One horrible loss, and another one he lost like a child. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses this one. I thought he would win easily the first time and that happened.
”Chandler doesn’t like to be kicked. I know that from people who trained with him in the past, and he loses his title due to a kick. He hesitated a few times against Goiti when he was kicked in the leg and in the face.”