Bellator’s Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire Puts Khabib On Notice
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is one of Bellator’s most respected lightweight fighters. He believes that he has what it takes to beat UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Khabib put a stamp on his 28-0 pro record, with a strong performance over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. Following that win, people are wondering what it could take to beat the Dagestani fighter. While there are some names left for Khabib to beat, someone who thinks he knows the formula to beat Khabib is Pitbull.
Pitbull spoke to MMAFighting about Khabib’s recent performance. Despite being under the Bellator banner, he believes that he could be the one to take out Khabib, if they fought.
“Khabib is very tough, has phenomenal wrestling and sambo, but he has a huge deficiency on the feet so I can catch him. Nothing is impossible.
I think he’s very tough, 28-0, but another fighter from Rio Grande do Norte, (Gleison) Tibau, put on a very tough fight with him, and I think there’s a path to beat him. I believe we can do it. If my hand lands — and it would land —, it’s over.”
He went on to explain what it is that he sees as weakness in Khabib’s game.
“He has the same fight pattern since his first fight. He backs his opponent against the fence, moves and shoots to the leg. No one has ever tried… Maybe someone did try to land a knee, but I don’t remember anyone getting close to landing. Iaquinta was doing well against him, moving well on the feet, but he was closing the distance the wrong way. I think I can close the distance better.
Maybe if he [Iaquinta] had more time to prepare or come up with a different gameplan he would have done something better. I think he was throwing a jab and a cross. If he threw two jabs and followed with two hands it would land right on Khabib’s chin. You saw him against (Dustin) Poirier now, he looks lost on the feet. He didn’t know how to move, let his hands down, ran across the cage many times. That, my friend, when you’re fighting a striker, is pretty easy.”
If they were to ever fight, do you think Pitbull would be able to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov?
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