Bellator 255 will hold the other half of the semi-finals to the featherweight Grand Prix with the anticipated rematch between current Bellator lightweight and featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (31-4) and former title challenger Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (20-4). In their prelude, Pitbull defeated Sanchez by unanimous decision in a memorable showing by both men. On April 2, inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville Connecticut, Sanchez is looking for vengeance with a trip to the finals against A.J. McKee being at stake. It will be Bellator’s first event under the Showtime contract with start time for the main card being 9p.m. (ET).
Pitbull has been on a roll since winning back his featherweight title beating the likes of Daniel Strauss, Sanchez, and then-lightweight champion Michael Chandler before the start of the Grand Prix. In the first two rounds of the Grand Prix, Pitbull defeated Juan Archuleta and Pedro Carvalho. Since 2017, Pitbull has been considered one of the best feathweights on the planet. He’s been calling out the likes of Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov wanting a cross over promotion fight to see who truly is the best featherweight and lightweight champion but for now he has to worry about Sanchez.
Sanchez is one of the best featherweights Bellator has to offer. In his last eight contests he is (7-1) with his lone loss coming to the champion. Sanchez has mentioned on Mortal Kombat he believes he learned a lot from his first meeting with Pitbull. His confidence has grown entering this second contest as he stated, “knowing I took his best shots and he did his best to try to stop me and still couldn’t. For me that was a great lesson.”
However, on the other side of this, Pitbull has a very different opinion on how this rematch will play out as he tells MMA News (through a translator), “I predict I’m going to knock him out in the first round.”
Both have predicted victory but only one can face McKee in the finals. Tune in to Showtime to see two of the promotion’s best meet inside the Bellator circle.