Mixed martial arts career
Freire began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of ten to help fend off the stigma of his size. As a teenager, he trained at the famed Chute Boxe academy alongside notable MMA stars such as Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua.
Freire made his professional MMA debut in March 2004 at the age of 16. For the first five and a half years of his career, he competed in his native Brazil and amassed an undefeated record of 12-0 with all but two wins coming by way of stoppage.
Prior to signing with Bellator, Freire was ranked as one of the top prospects outside of the North American fight scene.
Freire faced Joe Warren on June 24, 2010 at Bellator 23 in the Tournament Final. Despite nearly finishing the fight in the waning moments of the first round, Freire lost the fight by controversial split decision.
In Bellator Season Four, Friere earned back-to-back third round KOs against Georgi Karakhanyan and Wilson Reis (a rematch of their bout the previous year) to advance to the finals of the Featherweight Tournament. Friere met Daniel Mason-Straus in the Bellator Season Four Lightweight Tournament Final at Bellator 45. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
A broken hand suffered in training had halted Freire’s rematch with Joe Warren for the Bellator Featherweight Championship.
After a near year and a half lay-off, Freire returned to action at Bellator 85 to face Pat Curran who had defeated Joe Warren to win the Bellator Featherweight Championship at Bellator 60. After a back and forth fight, Freire ended up losing a very close split decision.
Freire was set to face Rob Emerson at Bellator 97, but Emerson was forced out of the bout due to injury and was replaced by Jared Downing. Freire won via KO at fifty-four seconds into the second round.
Freire faced former UFC Featherweight contender Diego Nunes at Bellator 99 in the Quarterfinals of Bellator’s Season Nine Featherweight Tournament. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.
After being skipped over for his title shot, Freire was expected to finally challenge for the Bellator Featherweight Championship in the long-awaited rematch with Pat Curran on June 6, 2014 at Bellator 121. However, on May 21, it was announced that Curran had pulled out of the bout due to a calf injury. The rematch eventually took place at Bellator 123 on September 5, 2014. Freire defeated Curran by unanimous decision to become the new Bellator Featherweight Champion.
Freire made his first title defense at Bellator 132 on January 16, 2015 against Daniel Mason-Straus in a rematch of their bout in May 2011, which saw Freire walk away with a decision victory. Freire won the back-and-forth fight in the fourth round via a rear-naked choke submission.
Freire was expected to defend his Featherweight title against former WSOF Featherweight Champion Georgi Karakhanyan in a rematch at Bellator 138 on June 19, 2015. However, after a torn ACL suffered by Karakhanyan, Freire will instead face Bellator Season Ten Featherweight tournament winner Daniel Weichel at the event. Despite being knocked down in the last seconds of the first round, Freire rallied to knock out Weichel with a perfect counter left hook early in the second round.
After the knockout loss of his brother by Michael Chandler, Freire moved up to the lightweight division to earn a title shot in order to face Chandler. He faced Benson Henderson in the main event at Bellator 160 on August 26, 2016. The bout ended in anticlimactic fashion as Freire stopped himself early in round two to declare he had sustained a leg injury. As a result, Henderson was awarded a TKO victory due to injury. It was revealed post-fight that Freire had broken his shin in the first round after Henderson checked a low kick with his knee.
Freire faced Daniel Straus in a fourth fight for the Bellator featherweight championship at Bellator 178 on April 21, 2017. After a back and forth first round, Freire won the bout via a submission due to a guillotine choke early in the second round to become the two-time Bellator Featherweight Champion.
Freire was scheduled to make his first title defense against Daniel Weichel, in a rematch, at Bellator 188 on November 16, 2017. Freire pulled out of the fight, however, due to multiple injuries. He expressed interest in a rematch with Weichel in early 2018.
On February 20, 2019, Bellator announced that Freire had signed a multi-year, multi-fight contract extension with the organization.
Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patr%C3%ADcio_Freire