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Bellator champion Patricio Freire not interested in PFL’s season format: ‘This doesn’t make sense for me’

The PFL’s season tournament is not something that sparks Patricio Freire’s interest.

The Bellator featherweight champion has no intention to compete in the season tournament now that PFL acquired Bellator and merged rosters. Freire is no stranger to competing in similar types of formats, having fought in Bellator’s grand prix, but it’s PFL’s point system in the playoffs that puts off “Pitbull.”

“I don’t like PFL’s tournament format,” Freire told MMA Junkie. “This whole thing about the points, you can fight the former champion and win by decision and have a very tough fight, but win by decision, and then another guy gets a scrub and knocks him out in the first round, and he moves into the playoffs and you don’t. There’s not much merit this way. In my mind, I’m still a Bellator fighter and a champion, so I want to defend my belt.”

Unlike Bellator, PFL has a two-fight season with a point system based on how quickly a fighter can get a win. It’s more complicated than just elimination bouts. Technically, two decision wins can leave a fighter out of the playoffs, depending on other results. This is not something that Freire likes.

“Since I like fighting for titles, and I’m in that position, imagine I go into a tournament, win all my fights, but still not make it to the playoffs and no longer be a champion,” Freire said. “This doesn’t make sense for me.”

Freire hopes to continue defending his Bellator featherweight title in PFL’s one-off events – pay-per-views and the eight planned Bellator shows.

The Brazilian returns to the cage on Feb. 24 at the PFL vs. Bellator champions card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He takes on Jesus Pinedo, who won the 2023 PFL season, in a non-title bout.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie