“Take The Easy Fight”

Asking a Pitbull brother to take the easy way out is a hard ask, but when it’s one brother saying it to another… It gets interesting.

Following his opening-round win over Juan Archuleta at Bellator 228, Bellator’s featherweight and lightweight champion Patricio Freire was allowed to select any opponent he wanted for his quarterfinal fight in early 2020.

His brother Patricky told him to “take the easy fight,” which was not a reference to his eventual opponent, Pedro Carvalho, but to Derek Campos and former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell.

“Pedro Carvalho is a tough guy, and Patricio knows that,” Patricky Freire said. “But the reason why we didn’t pick Caldwell, who I said was the easier one, (was because) our choice would be Derek Campos. But he was set to fight in December, and that would be too soon for Patricio.

“The other one was Caldwell, who (Bellator) president Scott Coker mentioned, but he was coming off two losses, and (Patricio) didn’t want to award him. He wanted someone who was coming off wins, who was actually growing instead of going downhill.”

In the midst of a six-fight winning streak, Carvalho punched his ticket to the second round by submitting Sam Scalia at Bellator 226, while Campos went the distance against Daniel Straus on the same card, and at Bellator 228, Caldwell defeated Henry Corrales, hoping to erase the two losses he had to Kyoji Horiguchi for both the Rizin and Bellator bantamweight titles.

“I picked Caldwell and said he talks too much, and then he started acting like it was a real thing,” Patricky Freire said. “He asked me if I really wanted that, and I said sure. He asked me why, and I said, ‘Because you have no pressure. You only have pressure in the first two rounds, then you get tired and start running. You don’t like to get kicked in the legs, you don’t like to get hit in the body.’ He got quiet. He had nothing else to say.”

“I think Caldwell was the easiest fight for Patricio,” he continued. “He has nothing on the feet. He just goes for takedowns and gets tired. He lost to that Horiguchi in Japan because he got tired. He got tired in the rematch and started running because Horiguchi was chasing him. He doesn’t like to fight, he just wants to score takedowns, and I think would easily defend his takedowns.”

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