Patricio Pitbull: Champion Once Again
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire came into Bellator 178 a man on a mission. He wanted revenge. He wanted his Bellator featherweight championship back. He wanted the fourth fight between him and Daniel Straus to be dominant in his favor. And he wanted to do it all for his son.
And he did.
Pitbull defeated Straus via second-round submission to re-gain the featherweight title and become a two-time champ in Bellator MMA’s division.
This was the fourth time the men faced each other. They originally battled at Bellator 45, with Pitbull getting a unanimous decision win. Straus seemed to be on his way to a win at Bellator 132, but Pitbull managed to get a fourth-round submission to retain the featherweight title. At Bellator 145, however, Straus got the unanimous nod from the judges to win the title.
Now, the belt is back in the Freire family.
"It’s a dream come true," Pitbull said in the post-fight mic time he could get that wasn’t taken over by his son. "This belt is for my son."
A big punch from Pitbull opened the bout, but Strauss squared up. Some moving around the cage, but then Pitbull follows it up with a leg kick. Straus misses a high kick. Pitbull attempts a front kick, but it’s blocked. Strauss attempts to grab Pitbull for a takedown, but Pitbull is able to get away. Pitbull lands a hard kick to the gut. Straus gets a hand in, but Pitbull reverses it and clinches up. The two, in a clinch, countered each other to get each others’ back against the cage. Pitbull manages to land a few knees while in this clinch. Pitbull is eventually able to take control and get Straus’ back to the cage. They are separated with about 30 seconds left in the opening round. Pitbull gets in one more round kick to the body before the bell.
The two exchange a couple of punches to start the second before another scramble for a takedown, which Pitbull manages to get. Pitbull gets in a guillotine attempt, and Straus taps immediately as it’s locked in on the ground!
Before leaving the cage and going into full-on celebration mode, Pitbull had a statement for his next likely opponent and challenger, Daniel Weichel. Pitbull previously defeated Weichel at Bellator 138.
"You act tough, but you know I’m here," Pitbull said.
Bellator 178 Official Results:
Bellator Featherweight Championship: Patricio Pitbull def. (c.) Daniel Straus via submission (guillotine) (Rd. 2, :37)
Women’s Flyweight: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Jessica Middleton via submission (armbar) (Rd. 1, 2:15)
Catchweight (165 lbs.): Saad Awad def. Ryan Quinn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight: A.J. McKee def. Dominic Mazzotta via KO (Rd. 1, 1:15)