On Saturday night at Bellator 203 in Rome, Italy, Patricio Freire defended his featherweight championship in a rematch with Daniel Weichel and though he had a tougher time of it than their first bout, the end result was the same.
“Pitbull” remains the champion.
Freire and Weichel started slowly, feeling each other out in the first round, but things began heating up in the second when Freire put Weichel on skates with a sharp right hand. Weichel was able to survive the onslaught and then come back in the third round, taking Pitbull down and threatening with an anaconda choke. In the fourth and fifth rounds though, Freire was able to keep the fight standing and his right hand was a money punch all night long, hurting Weichel on several occasions and doing enough to squeak out a split decision on the judges’ scorecards (49-46, 47-48, and 48-47).
The win moved Freire into a tie with Michael Chandler for most wins in Bellator history. After the bout, Pitbull called out the SBG Ireland fight team for “an easy fight.”
In the co-main event of the evening, Alessio Sakara gave the Italian MMA fans what they came for, breezing through Jamie Sloane in his first fight since coming up short for the middleweight belt last December. Sakara, who was born in Rome, had never fought in his hometown before, but the veteran fighter made the most of his return, pounding out Sloane with vicious ground and pound in less than 90 seconds. After the bout, Sakara confirmed he would be a permanent fixture in the light heavyweight division going forward.
In the featured welterweight fight of the evening, former champion Andrey Koreshkov made quick work of Vaso Bakocevic, knocking out “Psychopath” with a spinning back kick in the first round. The spectacular win likely guarantees Koreshkov a spot in the upcoming Welterweight Grand Prix that Bellator is targeting for September. After the fight, Koreshkov agreed that he should have a spot in the Grand Prix and said “it doesn’t matter” who he faces there. Koreshkov has already been rumored to be facing former champion Douglas Lima in a trilogy bout in the opening round.