Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire 2 scheduled for Bellator 121
Patricio Freire will finally get the rematch that has eluded him for the better part of six months. Freire and Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran are scheduled to collide once again in the main event of Bellator 121, which takes place June 6 from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and kicks off Bellator's upcoming Summer Series.
Promotion officials announced the booking on Friday.
Freire (21-2) lost a contentious split decision to Curran back at Bellator 85, but responded by steamrolling through season nine's featherweight tournament, a run which included a pair of first-round knockouts over Zuffa veterans Diego Nunes and Justin Wilcox.
After winning the tourney, Freire was to be next in line to challenge for the Bellator featherweight strap. However the Brazilian was ultimately passed over by promotion officials in order to grant Curran an immediate rematch against Daniel Straus after Bellator 106 -- a decision which angered Freire greatly.
"That whole ‘where the title shots are earned, not given' is pure bulls--t now. That doesn't exist anymore," he told MMAFighting.com at the time. "Bellator is eating its own words. They didn't respect my wins in the tournament."
Now, though, Freire will get his chance at revenge.
"I've been wanting this rematch with Curran for a long time, and it's finally here," he said in a statement. "I won that first fight, and I should be Bellator Featherweight Champion right now. This time, I'm not going to let it go to the judges. Curran has started to get cocky and he's disrespecting me. He has no idea what I've been through to get to the title. I'm going to put a brake on his tongue on June 6th."
Despite the controversy regarding his immediate rematch, Curran (20-5) managed to recapture his title in electric fashion, submitting Straus with 14 seconds remaining in the contest after a wild back-and-forth fight at Bellator 112.
"Pitbull has been running his mouth a lot lately and everyone is sick of hearing it," Curran said. "I'm ready to shut him up for good. I'm an even better fighter now than I was the first time we fought and I'll show you Pitbull a true champion fights on June 6th."