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Patricky Freire set to welcome former LFA champion Jaleel Willis at Bellator 249

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Patricky Freire returns to the Bellator cage after pursuing the RIZIN lightweight belt in 2019.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Patricky Freire will return to action against former LFA lightweight champion Jaleel Willis in the co-main event of Bellator 249 on Oct. 15, multiple sources told MMA Fighting. MMAjunkie first reported the matchup.

Bellator 249 is set to take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and features Cris Cyborg’s first defense of featherweight gold opposite Arlene Blencowe.

Freire (23-9) competes for the first time since coming up short in the RIZIN lightweight grand prix in Dec. 2019; the Brazilian vet made it to the finals before losing to Tofiq Musaev in Japan.

“Pitbull” was on a seven-fight winning streak prior to the setback, a run that included victories over Ben Henderson, Josh Thomson, Derek Campos and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Willis (13-2) returns to the Bellator cage four years after a single bout under the company’s banner, which ended in a decision victory over Omar Johnson. “The Realest” went on to compete for other promotions after that, capping off a 6-2 run with a LFA title win over Vinicius de Jesus in August.