Bellator MMA: Emmanuel Sanchez Gets Next Shot At Patricio Freire’s Featherweight Title

Patricio Freire Bellator MMA
Patricio Freire Credit: Dave Mandel/

‘El Matador’ Emmanuel Sanchez has punched his ticket to a featherweight title shot against Patricio Pitbull later this year in Israel.

Bellator MMA has a main event for its return to Israel later this year. As first reported by MMA Junkie, Emmanuel Sanchez will face Patricio Freire for the promotion’s 145lb title in Tel Aviv this November. The event has not been officially named, though it is likely to be either Bellator 209 or Bellator 210. The card will take place November 15 at the Menora Mivtachim Arena, which has hosted the promotion twice before.

Patricio Freire (27–4), also known as Patricio Pitbull, has long been one of Bellator’s biggest homegrown talents. Debuting with the company in 2010 at Bellator 15, he is a multi-time Bellator tournament winner, and in his second reign as Bellator featherweight champion. After losing the title to Daniel Staus in 2015, he won it back in 2017 in the fourth meeting between the pair. In his last outing, Pitbull defeated Daniel Weichel via split decision.

Coincidentally, that fight was originally scheduled for Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, but Freire was forced off the card due to injury.

Emmanuel Sanchez (17–3), meanwhile, has been beating a who’s who of Bellator featherweights of late. Straus, Sam Sicilia, Georgi Karakhanyan, and former champ Marcos Galvao make up the names on Sanchez’s current four-fight win streak. He has finished his last two bouts via submission.

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