Legendary Bellator fighter on PFL merger: We have what it takes to compete with UFC

Patricio "Pitbull" Freire did not hide his satisfaction about the merger of these two MMA organizations

by Sededin Dedovic
Legendary Bellator fighter on PFL merger: We have what it takes to compete with UFC
© SOG / Youtube channel

The recent acquisition of Bellator MMA by the Professional Fighters League (PFL) sent shockwaves through the mixed martial arts (MMA) world. This groundbreaking merger, finalized on November 20, 2023, marks a significant shift in MMA, creating a formidable force that could potentially challenge the dominance of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

At the heart of this merger lies the promise of exciting matches between the champions of both organizations. PFL CEO Peter Murray expressed his desire to host these highly anticipated bouts, saying, "We can't wait to bring MMA fans what they've been asking for – the best vs.

the best at the PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions Mega-Event."

Patricio "Pitbull" Freire is delighted with this acquisition

One fighter who is particularly excited about the prospect is Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Bellator's featherweight champion and arguably the greatest fighter in the history of the promotion.

Freire, who has won the Bellator light heavyweight title an unprecedented eight times, is eager to test his skills against the PFL's best. "In my opinion, it definitely makes sense to organize those legendary, historic games, like ours against the PFL champion.

Champion against champion, that's something that makes more sense to me than playing in the PFL tournament," said Freire. While Freire prefers special events, he remains open to competing in the single-season PFL tournament format if the organization so chooses.

"But when I'm in a Grand Prix tournament, and I have the belt, every fight is actually a title defense," he explained.

Freire: We have everything to fight with the UFC

Bellator's PFL acquisition is a strategic move to challenge the UFC's supremacy in MMA.

The PFL believes this merger will elevate its position in the industry and bring it closer to equal competition with the UFC. Freire, too, shares this optimistic perspective. "They (PFL) now have everything in their hands to further develop their organization.

On the media side, there are YouTubers Jake Paul and Logan Paul, and they are very important to this story. We also have Francis Ngannou who has proven himself for us MMA fighters and the fans in a boxing match against the best boxer in the world.

We have everything to fight with the UFC," Freire said. While acknowledging the UFC's long-established dominance, Freire remains confident in the PFL's potential to challenge the status quo. "The first step was the purchase of Bellator, and now we're waiting for the next one.

Of course, it won't be easy. The UFC has a long tradition, they're an older organization and they made the right moves at the right time. We'll see what happens, I'm curious," he concluded. PFL's purchase of Bellator is undoubtedly an important moment in MMA history.