Patricio "Pitbull" Freire will have to wait yet longer for his long ago earned featherweight title shot. Champion Pat Curran was set to defend his belt against the Brazilian June 6 but has pulled out of the fight because of a severe right calf strain sustained during training.
Freire has not fought since 2013, when he won the Bellator featherweight tournament. With that tourney win, "Pitbull" earned a shot at the belt but had to wait as Curran received an immediate rematch against then-champion Daniel Straus first.
Freire was irate at having to sit out and vocally criticized Bellator, saying they should release him if they were not to give him what he'd earned. Curran took back the 145 pound title with a dramatic come-from-behind victory against Straus in March and jumped right back into camp to prepare for his rematch against Freire.
“I’ve been training incredibly hard for this fight by pushing myself to my absolute limits in training,” Curran said in a statement released by Bellator.
“Unfortunately during some conditioning drills, I suffered a bad calf strain that has halted my training for one of the biggest fights of my career. I have my sights set on getting back into the cage as soon as possible with July in mind, but I want to be 100% healthy heading into that cage to smash 'Pitbull'.”
Freire has not released a statement yet but he is rumored to have been in a damp, poorly lit basement gym hitting a heavy bag with photos of Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and Pat Curran stapled to it while chewing on nails for the past twelve hours.