LONG BEACH, Calif. — Patricio “Pitbull” Freire‘s stranglehold on the Bellator featherweight division will continue.
Freire beat Adam Borics via one-sided unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45) in the main event of Bellator 286 on Saturday night at Long Beach Arena. “Pitbull” retained his 145-pound belt with the victory and now has a total of eight title defenses across three reigns.
Freire, one of the best MMA fighters ever to not have competed in the UFC, first won the title in 2014. Saturday’s fight marked his first defense of the current reign.
ESPN has “Pitbull” ranked No. 3 in the world at featherweight. His longevity and consistency as an elite fighter have been a marvel.
Freire was better in all aspects of MMA on Saturday night. He landed some clean counter combinations on Borics early, landed some takedowns and got onto Borics’ back in the third round after somehow catching a Borics flying knee and using it for a mat return.
Borics took Freire down in the fifth round but wasn’t able to do much with it, and “Pitbull” ended up sweeping using a Kimura submission attempt.
Freire (34-5) has won two in a row and nine of his past 10 fights, the only loss in that stretch coming to rival AJ McKee. The Brazilian-born fighter is also the former Bellator lightweight champion, courtesy of a knockout win over current UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler in 2019. Freire, 35, arguably has the best résumé in Bellator history.
“Maybe I’ll go down to the bantamweight division and take that belt,” Freire said of his potential next move.
Borics (18-2), 29, had a four-fight winning streak snapped. A Hungarian-born fighter who trains out of Kill Cliff FC in Florida, he fell to 9-2 in his Bellator career.