Freire is set to return against Makhachev’s teammate, Usman Nurmagomedov, in the Bellator 288 co-main event on November 18th. He returns following injury and illness which postponed his 2022 debut.
After defeating Peter Queally for the then-vacant lightweight title at Bellator 270, the eldest Freire brother has high expectations for his title reign. He feels he can not only become the Bellator pound-for-pound best but also emerge as the top fighter in the world.
The UFC and Bellator haven’t worked together on a cross-promotion, though if they do, Freire wants a shot at Makhachev.
Patricky Pitbull Likes His Chances In Hypothetical Fight Vs. Islam Makhachev
During an exclusive interview with MMA News, Freire explained what a super fight with Makhachev would look like.
“Islam is a tough guy, he’s a good wrestler, like other Russian guys,” Freire said. “His striking is improving very well. He’s trying to improve every day, but the only difference between him and Usman Nurmagomedov is he wants to do grappling all the time. It’s the same thing I do to fight against Usman. A lot of striking, a lot of wrestling. I wouldn’t change much with this fight. Everyday training, Monday-Saturday…and they are too. It would be great.”
Makhachev is on the verge of his super fight with Alexander Volkanovski. He earned the lightweight title by defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
Freire has defeated some of the top lightweights in Bellator history during his tenure, including wins over Benson Henderson, Josh Thomson, and Derek Campos. A win over Nurmagomedov would clinch the top seed in the upcoming Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix.
While a super fight between Freire and Makhachev is unlikely, Freire seems willing to pounce at the opportunity should it become available.
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