On the same day that UFC superstar Conor McGregor was celebrating the four-year anniversary of becoming the first UFC champion in history to simultaneously hold two divisional championships at once, Bellator’s second-ever, and only currently reigning “champ champ”, was busy defending one of his belts in the main event of Bellator 252.
But the biggest thing Patricio “Pitbull” Freire did after scoring his epic knockout over Pedro Carvalho on Thursday night was to issue a cross-promotional challenge to McGregor via social media.
Freire posted, “…Now about that dream match you mentioned @John_Kavanagh, I’m ready when you are @TheNotoriousMMA”.
Freire was responding to Kavanagh, who trains McGregor (and Carvalho) at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin, Ireland.
You can see the entire exchange below.
It's the nature of the game. The rivalry will continue through our fighters and everyone will grow from it. Best of luck against anyone who isn't us. Pedro is strong. Now about that dream match you mentioned @John_Kavanagh, I'm ready when you are @TheNotoriousMMA. https://t.co/nap9Tb5kQj
— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) November 13, 2020
Additionally, you can watch Freire’s stunning knockout at Bellator 252 below.
Listen in as @RobinBlackMMA walks us through his interpretation of the events that unfolded during last night's #FeatherweightWGP main event between @PatricioPitbull and @PCarvalhoMMA at #Bellator252.#MMA #Bellator pic.twitter.com/mB4cy0iAca
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 13, 2020
Technically, McGregor is no longer a “champ champ” since he no longer holds either title. But McGregor will forever be the first UFC “champ champ” in history, and his name will always be associated with that phrase.
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Freire vs. UFC Fighters
Of course, this isn’t the first time Freire has issued a cross-promotional challenge to someone associated with the UFC.
In fact, Freire is sort of becoming known for this kind of thing.
Most notably, Freire issued a $1 million challenge to UFC president Dana White over the summer after White implied to the media that he didn’t know who Freire was.
In short, Freire wants to bet White $1 million he could defeat any of the top UFC fighters competing in the lightweight and featherweight divisions.
That includes McGregor at 155 pounds, as well as other top lightweights Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It also means Freire believes he could beat Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, and UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski.
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UFC vs. Bellator Fights Not Likely To Happen
Fights between UFC and Bellator champs seem like a great idea on paper, but the reality of the situation is that they would accomplish almost nothing for the UFC.
As the leading MMA promotional company in the world by a large margin, there seems little reason for White to risk pitting any of his top stars against fighters from other promotional entities.
There would be nothing to gain and tons to lose.
The only way that could change is if Bellator (or another MMA promoter) somehow had a fighter on its roster with the kind of star power that basically only McGregor has attained so far in MMA to this point.
While it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, that’s unlikely to happen, at least anytime soon.
Could Freire Beat UFC Fighters?
Make no mistake: Freire is one of the top fighters in the world today.
According to ESPN’s MMA rankings, Freire is ranked No. 4 across all promotions at 145 pounds.
Strangely, Freire isn’t ranked among the top 10 fighters at 155 pounds even though he stopped former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler, ranked No. 7 in the same rankings, in the first round just last year.
Chandler is now a UFC fighter, though he’s yet to make his promotional debut.
Regardless, MMA Junkie recently hailed Freire as “arguably the greatest fighter” in Bellator history.
The 33-year-old might not be able to fight any of the top UFC stars anytime soon due to his contract with Bellator, but he would for sure give anyone in the world a run if given the chance.
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