You know how people often use the entrance of a new year as an opportunity to forgive, forget and mend fences with those who may have wronged them in the past?
Yeah, Michael Chandler and the “Pitbull” Brothers aren’t doing that.
The feud between Chandler (19-4 MMA, 16-4 BMMA) and brothers Patricky Freire (20-8 MMA, 13-7 BMMA) and Patricio Freire (28-4 MMA, 16-4 BMMA) is not new. In fact, as recently as last month, 145-pound champion Patricio told MMAjunkie all about how he’d “fight this guy (Chandler) even if it’s on the street,” such was his desire to get his hands on Bellator’s recently-reinstated 155-pound champ.
On Wednesday, though, it was Chandler who reignited the rivalry. And he did so by bringing up what was arguably its most memorable moment: The heated verbal exchange he had with Patricio from the edge of the Bellator cage in 2016, seconds after a quick Bellator 157 knockout that put him at 2-0 against Patricky (via Instagram):
I said it…I meant it…those we’re fighting words. The good thing is we chose a profession that will allow us to settle our differences if you ever care to… @patriciopitbull.
As per usual, Freire didn’t just take the provocation quietly. A couple of hours later, he issued a response of his own. And he was a little less measured in his language. (via Twitter):
You’ll look worse than this once I’m finished with you @MikeChandlerMMA #chandralone. Piece of (expletive). There’ll be a big price for everything you’ve said and rearranging your face will be just the beginning. April 13th.
Note: We’d advise you to pay attention to the photoshop work on Chandler’s shoulder tattoo, which usually reads as “Blessed.”
Now, before you get too excited: April 13 is not an indication of a scheduled bout between the younger “Pitbull” brother and the lightweight champ. In fact, it was also a throwback, to last year’s Bellator 197. That night, Chandler met Brandon Girtz – but only after a near-miss involving the Freire brothers.
Long story short, Chandler was supposed to rematch Brent Primus that night, looking to re-claim his 155-pound throne. But then injury struck Primus, and the search was on for a replacement. Both Chandler and Patricio can agree that an offer for them to meet was on the table, and that Patricio turned it down.
It’s in what went into that refusal that they don’t see eye-to-eye.
As Patricio said at the time, the offer first came to Patricky. In light of his brother’s inability to fight then, Patricio was glad to take the spot, except he wanted the same conditions that had been offered to his brother; namely, a five-round interim title bout.
With that off the table, Freire declined, and Chandler called him “a coward with a big mouth” for doing so.
A lot has happened since. Chandler went on to beat Girtz that night, and Primus a few months later, re-claiming the lightweight title in the process. Patricio would also go on to fight twice more, defending his belt with decisions over Daniel Weichel and Emmanuel Sanchez.
We’ll see if the two will get a chance to, as Chandler said, settle their differences inside the cage at some point. The lighter “Pitbull,” for his part, has made it clear that he’s down. And we don’t know about you, but we think Chandler’s recent post looks a lot like an invitation.
For more on the Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: New year, same beef: Patricio Freire has choice words for fellow Bellator champ Michael Chandler