On a night when Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez retained his belt with a unanimous decision victory over Pat Curran, it was another lightweight on the card that stole the show.
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (9-1) became the first lightweight to advance to the season four tournament finals with a first round knockout of Toby Imada. The official call after the fight was actually a TKO but Freire landed a brutal knee on a ducking Imada that knocked the Judo black belt out while still standing. Freira would officially finish the fight with a left hook the dropped Imada to the canvas prompting the referee to stop the fight, but it was the knee that really ended the fight.
Freire will now wait to face the winner of next week’s semifinal match between Michael Chandler and Lloyd Woodard at Bellator 40. The winner will become the season four Bellator lightweight tournament winner, earning a title shot against current champion Eddie Alvarez.
Alvarez (22-2) fought Pat Curran in the night main event and won a decisive unanimous decision. The lightweight challenger who had won the season two lightweight tournament, proved to be much tougher that many thought. Curran’s takedown defense plus his ability to quickly get back up made thing difficult for the champ.
The excellent performance by Freire didn’t go unnoticed on the champion though, as he told Jimmy Smith this during the post fight interview, “guys got a lot of weapons. I thought Toby was gonna be able to outwork him but it didn’t get out of the first. Patricky is super dangerous in the first, he looked great and I’m looking forward to fighting that guy.”
Freire still has work to do in the season four lightweight tournament but his performance last night at Bellator 39 has put the champion on notice!