Freire irate over denied Bellator title shot


Yesterday Bellator MMA sent out a press release announcing that the organization's featherweight champion Daniel Straus will fight former champion Pat Curran at Bellator 112.

Curran beat Straus in 2009. but lost a decisive unanimous decision, and his title, to him in November.

At the close of the press release was the organizations mission statement.

"Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization... Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes.  Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula."

If Bellator is a tournament-based event, then in the eyes of many, granting a rematch two months later does not make sense, as there are not one but two featherweight tournament winners waiting for their earned title shot.

Magomedrasul Khasbulaev, won the season 8 tournamant, but has not been able to get licensed in the USA, which makes a title shot problematic. However, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, won the featherweight tournament at Bellator 108 in November - his second tourney win - AND beat Straus in 2011.

Freire lost in a title shot to Curran a year ago via Split Decision, but has been on a 4-0 tear since, with three KOs and the aforementioned tournament win.

In an interview with MMAJunkie's John Morgan, an irate Freire said if Bellator doesn’t believe in him, they should let him go.

“I’m very disappointed with the whole situation,” said Freire. “I’m very upset with the organization. I’ve knocked out three of my past four opponents.

“I lost to Curran in a split decision, so I felt like I deserved to get back in there and have another shot at him. Instead, I had to go back to normal fights and the tournament, but I knocked out three of my next four opponents and feel like I’ve done enough again to get the shot now.”

“They said I would be fighting the winner of Straus vs. Curran III, but I question why that fight has to happen first. I told them I should get the shot, and then they just said that’s the direction the company is going and for me to just keep doing what I’m doing. Nothing they do right now is going to make right what they have done to me.”

“Ever since I started training, I never stopped unless I was seriously injured. Nothing is going to keep me out of the gym, but I’m really upset at this decision. Still, I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing and prove I’m the best featherweight in the world.

“I’m upset at the whole thing not going the way I thought I was going. I’ve got faith to keep training and keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully everything will work out. But if Bellator doesn’t believe in me – if they don’t want me to be champion and to do things right – I’d like to just ask them to let me out of my contract.”

Straus too was not impressed, via Facebook.

"My perception is that Bellator wants him as champ so bad not only does he get immediate rematch but gets it in his hometown damn near," wote Straus. "Any thoughts?"

That is a good question.

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tags: Bellator   Patricio Freire   Pitbull   

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Recent Comments »

Brandonbrazell site profile image  

1/15/14 5:25 PM by Brandonbrazell

Bellator announced championship rematches like 2 years ago but I don't agree with his decision.

slamming site profile image  

1/15/14 3:57 PM by slamming

LOL perfect shill response. "Nothing to see here"

ausgepicht site profile image  

1/15/14 3:46 PM by ausgepicht

Not only will I not shut up - and there's NOTHING you can do about it, I'll say this: He's wrong and you're wrong. See how that works?

zazen br site profile image  

1/15/14 3:38 PM by zazen br

Shut up. He is right.

ausgepicht site profile image  

1/15/14 3:24 PM by ausgepicht

You can't be serious. Fighters don't get an hourly or weekly salary and many have other jobs, make money coaching, etc.. What the fuck is the matter with you people? Does anyone have the ability to demonstrate some common sense any more?

HeHitsMeBecauseHeLovesMe site profile image  

1/15/14 12:45 PM by HeHitsMeBecauseHeLovesMe

No, because I call "you're not gonna be able to make a living for another 4 months", screwing somebody over.

UGCTT_WarHunt site profile image  

1/15/14 4:35 AM by UGCTT_WarHunt

i hate bellatorbut they can do whatever they want with fights. It's their show, even though its incredibly hypocritical to their identity.Their 3rd tier, busch league, b.s., is why i can't take them seriously. It reminds of a jilted lesbian affiar, where the fatter lesbian is jealous of the lesbian with the larger ass. and then the backstabbing and cattiness ensues, shortly followed by a FUCKING.I personally think UFC's BBC is too big for bellator, which is why they haven't even tried to put it in them. I agree that WSOF is a secret UFC front, so we'll call them the plumbers.

grizzlyedwin site profile image  

1/15/14 4:34 AM by grizzlyedwin

I understand his frustration, but there's no way Bellator simply just lets him walk since the UFC is going to pick him up as soon as he's released and there's no chance Bellator just hands him to them.

IronWill site profile image  

1/15/14 4:25 AM by IronWill


time traveling 12er site profile image  

1/15/14 4:17 AM by time traveling 12er

I agree they need to get rid of the tournaments but what's the function of setting up the lower tier ones?  Will the winners get title fights?  If so then they're jumping the line, guys that are too good to be in the tourney would be getting fucked over.  In fact it would create a zone where guys too good for the tourney but not good enough for a title shot would just sit in ranking purgatory.  If no title shots, what do they get out of it?