Patricky Freire might have to go under the knife after a busy night of fights in Saitama, Japan, for the RIZIN lightweight grand prix finals.
The Bellator lightweight made short work of fellow Brazilian Luiz Gustavo in the semifinal early in the RIZIN 20 card on Dec. 31, and took on Tofiq Musayev for the tournament crown. “Pitbull” lost an entertaining bout via decision, and post-fight exams showed several injuries.
According to Freire’s manager Matheus Aquino, Freire’s right hand was “likely” broken after the semifinal bout, and he suffered a shoulder injury after falling out of the ring against Musayev.
Patricky injured his right hand in the first fight, likely broken. And injured his left shoulder after he fell from the ring on the second fight.— Matheus Aquino (@MatheusDCAquino) December 31, 2019
Also, a muscle from his right leg separated from the bone in the second fight. I'm still waiting to hear details on how that happened and if he'll have to do some procedure in Japan. Talk about toughness. I'll update here once I hear more. https://t.co/ILGMdPMpQT— Matheus Aquino (@MatheusDCAquino) December 31, 2019
Patricky felt a pop in his right leg during the second round while he was moving around, which he believes is when the muscle dislocated from the bone. He still doesn't know what kind of procedure (if any) will be done at the hospital. He has a cast on his right hand. https://t.co/GfcuavtqQS— Matheus Aquino (@MatheusDCAquino) December 31, 2019
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Aquino said Freire will do more exams when he returns to Brazil to determine whether or not he needs surgery.
“I broke my hand one more time,” Freire said with a laugh in his post-fight interview backstage in Japan.
According to “Pitbull,” he returned to training too soon after injuring his right wrist earlier this year and experienced some pain over the past few months. One of the punches he landed on Gustavo likely worsened his injury.
That said, Freire still feels he deserved to win the fight against Musayev.
“The fight was very tough,” Freire said. “I just want to congratulate my opponent. I haven’t watched the whole fight yet, but in my head I think I won, but the rules are a bit different here.
“I think I won the first round, and I think I was winning the second round after the yellow card because I was being more aggressive. I think I lost the third round, but I won the first two.”
Freire credits Musayev for his strategy in the three-round contest, but feels he had the advantage on the feet while his opponent went for takedowns as he landed kicks to the body.
Asked if he’s interested in rematching the tournament winner inside the Bellator cage, “Pitbull” quickly replied, “yes, for sure.”
The decision loss snapped Freire’s seven-fight winning streak and crowned Musayev the 155-pound grand prix winner. The Azerbaijan talent went 4-0 inside the RIZIN ring in 2019 with wins over Daron Cruickshank, Damien Brown, Johnny Case and “Pitbull” Freire.