Patricio Freire: Win Over Michael Chandler is “Proof” The “Athlete”, Not The Promotion, Matters
By FCF Staff
The common narrative in MMA is that the UFC is home to the world’s best fighters, and Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire is citing his quick win over Michael Chandler, while firing back at that theory.
Freire (31-4) has long been regarded as one of the best featherweights in the sport, on account of his run in Bellator. But, after he quickly took out Chandler in 2019 to add Bellator’s lightweight title to his resume, his stock rose even more.
Fast forward to today, and Chandler (22-5) has been booked to fight Charles Oliveira for the now vacant, UFC lightweight title on May 15th. While talking to MMA Junkie recently about his battle with Chandler, Freire said this.
“Both casual and hardcore MMA fans should understand that what matters is the athlete, not the organization,” Freire said. “Many people are blind and only care about the UFC. That’s the wrong way of thinking. The proof is Michael Chandler, coming from Bellator, having such a devastating victory in his UFC debut against a highly ranked opponent. Chandler is just getting started. Seeing how dangerous he can be in the UFC further proves the quality of Bellator’s fighters – and how good a fighter I am.
“I don’t respect any of the ranking systems. I stopped paying attention. It’s completely political. People sell their opinions. I’d rather not be included. The only way to know if a fighter is better than the other is to have them fight. No one is as dominant as I am at 145 pounds. I even went up to 155 pounds and beat the No. 4-ranked fighter in the UFC. Rankings make no sense.”
The 33-year-old Freire, meanwhile, is booked to fight Emmanual Sanchez on April 2nd, in the semi-finals of Bellator’s featherweight grand prix.