The main event of Bellator 252 was not just the second of two Featherweight Grand Prix quarterfinal fights. It also happened to be another title defense for 145lb champ Patricio Pitbull (also Bellator’s lightweight champion), as he defended his title each step of the way through the tournament.
With a spot in the semifinals awaiting, it was a big night for both men. Carvalho was a motivated challenger. Pitbull, the winningest fighter in Bellator history. What played out was yet another dominant Patricio Freire performance. A statement, really.
Early in the opening round, both men were active. But Pitbull connected with a right hand that stunned Carvalho, and the champ leapt into a guillotine. Carvalho survived, regrouped, and went back on the attack. The end result, however, was Pedro Carvalho being clipped again. Moments later, it was more than just being clipped. A left, then yet another right hand, sent the challenger crashing back to the mat. Follow-up strikes were not necessary, and Pitbull knew it. In essence, it was a walk-off KO, the Brazilian stepping away as the ref came in to make things official.
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With Emmanuel Sanchez winning a unanimous decision earlier in the night against Daniel Weichel, the next featherweight title fight is already set. That will take place in one of two featherweight grand prix semifinals, at a date yet to be announced.
Official Result: Patricio Freire def. Pedro Carvalho by knockout, Round 1, 2:10