To date, upstart Bellator has garnered good press for its 170 lbs. division with former Sengoku standout Dan Hornbuckle, 2008 U.S. Olympian Ben Askren, 6-0 blue chip prospect Jacob McClintock, British star Jim Wallhead, and 10-1 M-1 Challenge veteran Steve Carl all having enlisted for the eight-man tournament.
But with Bellator slated to also conduct season two tournaments at featherweight, lightweight, and middleweight, it has left some fight fans wondering about its plans in the other weight classes.
According to a report on InTheGuard.tv, Bellator is currently pursuing 12-0 “Brazilian phenom” Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for its 145 lbs. tournament that is set to begin on April 8.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com was able to confirm the news with a source speaking on the condition of anonymity who is close to the negotiations.
“Bellator is trying to get people just as excited for 145 as they are about 170. Joe Soto was a total dark horse last year and they’ve been on a pretty extensive search to find more diamonds in the rough,” the source is quoted as saying. “They got a tip about Pitbull and were blown away by the YouTube footage and then followed up with their contacts in Brazil. They think he will be this year’s Soto at ’45 and they have been after him pretty aggressively.”
Of Freire’s 12 wins, all but two have finished via (T)KO or submission with six of his 10 early finishes having ocurred in round 1. To date, the promotion has yet to formally announce any fighters for its featherweight tournament, which will be televised starting April 8 live every Thursday on Fox Sports Net with condensed versions of the show airing every Saturday on NBC and Telemundo.
The winners of the season two tournaments at 145, 155, 170, and 185 lbs. will be matched up against the current Bellator champions in each division, who were crowned after winning the season one tournament in their respective weight class.