Pitbull Rises, Delivers KO Performance
This morning, as it had always been since the bout was first announced, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione was the scheduled main event bout for Saturday night’s Bellator 172 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
But hours before the event’s start, it was announced the bout was off. Mitrione was battling kidney stones, and the state athletic commission chose to pull him from the fight. With little to no time to find a suitable replacement, Emelianenko was no longer competing on the card. His first match in the U.S. since 2011 would have to wait a little longer.
"I’m sorry I don’t have the opportunity to fight in front of you tonight," Emelianenko said at the event through a translator. "I hope we’ll be able to deliver a great joy and happiness to you."
Reports are coming in that Bellator President Scott Coker has said the Emelianenko-Mitrione bout could take place sometime around May/June.
— FIGHT SPORTS (@FIGHTSPORTS) February 19, 2017
Josh Thomson and Patricky "Pitbull" Freire then got their chance to serve as the main event. And history was still made, as Freire dropped Thomson in front of his hometown crowd at the 40-second mark of round two. This was the first time since UFC 49, in 2004, that Thomson has been finished.
Thomson and Freire were not very active in the opening round, though Freire landed a hard right hand, knocking Thomson down. Thomson, though, managed to survive the round, showing off chin power. His chin, however, could not help him in the second.
After an accidental headbutt, Thomson attempted a takedown, but Pitbull caught him with a right hand, finishing the former UFC fighter for good.
Freire has now won three of his last four and bounces back from a loss to Michael Chandler, a bout which was for the then-vacant Bellator lightweight title. This win may now put Freire back into title contention, and when asked if he had a comment about Chandler, Pitbull responded, "shut up, mother******."
Bellator 172 Main Card (9 p.m., SPIKE):
Patricky "Pitbull" Freire def. Josh Thomson via KO (Rd. 2, 0:40)
Cheick Kongo def. Oli Thompson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Anatoly Tokov def. Francisco France via TKO (Rd. 2, 2:24)
Veta Arteaga defeated Brooke Mayo via TKO (doctor stoppage due to eye injury) (Rd. 3, 4:04)
Mauricio Alonso def. Josh Koscheck via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:42)