There’s another battle ahead for Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, this Saturday. Brazil’s Patricio “Pitbull” Freire will face off with the USA’s Daniel Straus in the final of the Bellator featherweight GP, in Lake Charles, USA, and he has some extra added motivation: should he win, he will get a shot at the divisional belt against Joe Warren, the only fighter to have defeated him so far in his career.
A week after his elder brother, Patricky “Pitbull”, lost his fight in the promotion, Patricio heads into his fight tonight with one eye on the GP and the other on his much hoped-for rematch with the current champion.
“My main focus is this next fight, but Warren’s always on my mind. My head is 50% on the GP and 50% on him, because that was my only loss,” revealed Patrício to Portal do Vale Tudo radio show. “So far, that (the loss) is what motivates me to train more every day.”
Known for his aggressive style, Patricio knocked out two opponents on his way to the 2011 GP final. His opponent this Saturday is Daniel Straus, who comes from an altogether different background. Well versed in wrestling, he has come up with most of his wins via judges’ decision. Straus’s style is reminiscent of the style of Michael Chandler, who overcame Patricky in the lightweight GP final last Saturday.
“It will be a clash of styles; he (Straus) will want to stall, and I’ll want to finish it,” predicts Patricio, promising aggression, “I’ve been doing my best in training, working on my game and not his. I can get takedowns too, I’m not just going to be defending takedowns,” he said in finishing.
Two promising forces in MMA, Patricio and Patricky are following in the footsteps of two other brothers who were for a long time synonymous for the sport in the world: Minotauro and Minotouro. So it made sense that the two did their training at Minotauro and Minotouro Nogueira’s San Diego academy, Black House. They also did part of their training at the Nogueira’s academy in Rio, and Rogério Minotouro will hence be in his student’s corner tonight at Bellator.
Bellator (the Latin word for “warrior”) is an American MMA event seeing growing levels of popularity around the world. Founded in 2008 by Brad Epstein and Bjorn Rebney, the organization is based on an single-elimination tournament format with several stages. The winner of each tournament goes on to challenge the current champion of each division.
“Bellator isn’t playing second fiddle to any of the ‘big promotions’. It gets better and better every time I step in there to fight. Being famous doesn’t get you anywhere. To win the belt you have to win the GP, there’s no point in begging for a fight,” said Patricio in finishing.