The last two Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix quarterfinal bouts will take place at Bellator 241.
Though each quarterfinal match of the 16-man Bellator Grand Prix was originally expected to happen on separate nights, it looks like two of the remaining bouts will go down on the same evening instead.
Bellator MMA announced in a press release on Thursday afternoon that Patricio “Pitbull” Freire will fight Pedro Carvalho, and Daniel Weichel will battle Emmanuel Sanchez at Bellator 241. The event will take place on Friday, March 13, 2020, at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main card of the event is expected to stream on DAZN.
The two bouts were made at Bellator 228 back in September 2019 during the live lottery-style selection show. Sanchez drew the fifth pick of the show and chose to fight Weichel to avenge his previous loss — which took place back at Bellator 159 in July 2016. El Matador lost a split decision that he believes should have gone his way. He expressed his desire for a rematch in an interview with Cageside Press last September when asked who he wanted to face in the quarterfinals.
“Obviously I want Pitbull again,” Sanchez said back in September 2019. “We will have to see how it goes down with him and Juan Archuleta. I think it is pretty obvious too that I would like to get my losses back to Pat Curran and Daniel Weichel, especially Weichel because he knows that he didn’t beat me.”
The fight between Weichel and Sanchez was supposed to happen in February but was moved to March without a disclosed reason.
Pitbull was the last to make a pick for the Selection show though he got the special “champion’s choice” for being the current Featherweight titleholder. The current double champion (he also won the lightweight title back in May of last year) was allowed to pick any fighter in the field he wanted and ultimately decided on Carvalho.
“He is from SBG [Ireland] and he speaks Portuguese”, Pitbull said when explaining why he picked Carvalho. “He talks too much like everyone from there and I am going to stop him.”
Pitbull heads into the matchup on the heels of a five-fight winning streak including a one-sided decision victory over Juan Archuleta in the opening round of the tournament. His Portuguese opponent is riding a six-fight winning streak and is without blemish in the Bellator cage in four appearances. He got past UFC veteran Sam Sicilia via second-round submission (neck crank) in their opening-round meeting.
Weichel snapped a two-fight skid with his unanimous decision victory over Saul Rogers in the opening round. The German fighter’s counterpart, Sanchez has taken care of business in back to back fights after a failed bid to capture the featherweight title from Pitbull back in November 2018. He made quick work of Ty-wan Claxton in the opening round of the tournament with a second-round submission (triangle choke).
AJ McKee was the first competitor to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament when he submitted Derek Campos last month. Former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will fight Adam Borics later this month in the remaining quarterfinal fight.
No other fights have been announced for Bellator 241 at this time.