UNITED STATES: At Bellator 297 in Chicago, Sergio Pettis defeated Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire by a majority decision to maintain his bantamweight title and prevent the Brazilian from winning three world championships.
Freire, a Bellator fighter, has been regarded by many and Pettis, as the best fighter ever due to his achievements in Bellator. He has won the featherweight division three times and is the only fighter in Bellator history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously. In 2019, he defeated Michael Chandler to win the lightweight championship.
Patricio aimed to become the first triple champion in a major MMA company with a 10-pound weight drop, calling it his easiest weight drop. Pettis, who had been out for over 18 months due to a knee injury, competed for the first time in over 18 months.
Pettis was absent when Mix won the interim championship at Bellator’s Bantamweight Grand Prix. Despite expectations of a unification match, Bellator chose Freire, with Pettis seeing the fight as an opportunity to add to his legacy.
The fight was heavily discussed, as Freire’s weight reduction would influence his performance, as he was the first challenger to ever compete in a champion versus champion match in Bellator history.
Pettis won the fight due to his speed advantage. After a cautious first round, Pettis connected with leg kicks and a spinning wheel kick, causing Freire to be wounded.
Despite blood streaming from a gash over his left eye, Pettis continued to outstrike Freire, despite landing several takedowns. Despite the Brazilian’s attempts, he was unable to inflict any harm.
Pettis, cheered by his brother Anthony, successfully countered frantic Patricio in the final round, securing a knockout. Both fighters bowed to one another, and when Freire realized his loss, he fell to his knees in silence. Pettis dedicated the fight to those facing depression and pessimism, urging Bellator to recognize him.