Can the Pitbull Brothers vs. Straight Blast Gym become this decade’s version of Chute Boxe vs. Brazilian Top Team?
SBG featherweight Brian Moore told MMA Fighting in May that the Irish team could select their top talents on the Bellator roster — James Gallagher, Luka Jelcic, Sinead Kavanagh, Charlie Ward, Will Fleury, Dillon Danis, and Moore — and face any other team in the world, but doubted that anyone would be up for the challenge.
Patricio Freire, Bellator’s featherweight champion and the leader of Brazil’s Pitbull Brothers gym, is in.
“Pitbull” even replied to SBG coach John Kavanagh on Twitter, declaring that he would be down to flying to Ireland to face his proteges and asking Bellator officials to make it happen.
Bring your best - let's do this @rtemike @ScottCoker— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) May 30, 2018
“This [rivalry] can last an entire generation,” Freire told MMA Fighting. “There are several rivalries in MMA and vale tudo history, like jiu-jitsu vs. luta livre and Chute Boxe vs. Brazilian Top Team. SBG and Pitbull Brothers can start another one that can last a generation. I think Bellator has the best opportunity in their hands and they can take advantage of it.
“We will annihilate SBG,” he added. “Big mouths can’t do anything, you have to prove it in the cage.”
The featherweight champion says Ireland would be “the best stage possible” for a first event, and then move on to new markets like Brazil. Freire is currently slated and focused on defending his belt in a rematch against Daniel Weichel in Rome on July 14, and says James Gallagher could be his opponent in this gym vs. gym challenge.
“He has a good number of wins in Bellator,” Freire said of Gallagher, 7-0 in MMA with four Bellator wins. “The guy that proposed this challenge [Moore] is also a featherweight, but he’s not in a winning streak as long as James Gallagher.”
Freire says he would bring his brother Patrick Freire in for the challenge at lightweight, and also Leandro Higo. Pitbull Brother’s Luiz Rocha is not under contract with the promotion, but fought and won at the Bellator 188 card in Israel in November. “We have several free agents that can come in and do an excellent job,” Freire said.
The 145-pound king has already fought Daniel Straus four times under the Bellator banner, twice against Pat Curran, and holds a knockout win over his next foe, Weichel. He sees new names coming into the title picture in the near future, such as A.J. McKee and Emmanuel Sanchez.
“I told Bellator executives that I need new contenders to fight, and they know that,” Freire said. “Bellator told me something and I agree, you can’t put these new guys [like McKee and Gallagher] against me because they don’t deserve it yet, so put them against big names so they can earn it. I think that someone with four or five wins in the company is close to the belt.
“My main focus now is Weichel,” he continued. “He’s tough. He knocked me down in the first fight, he’s dangerous. He’s not a spectacular and skillful athlete, but he’s really tough.”