Gabriel Braga withdraws from PFL vs. Bellator: Champions fight vs. Patricio Freire at last minute

In the end, it wasn’t meant for Patricio Freire to compete at the inaugural PFL vs. Bellator: Champions event.

A week after Freire’s original opponent, Jesus Pinedo, withdrew from the fight, replacement Gabriel Braga withdrew after not weighing in Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. No reason was given for Braga pulling out, with the PFL only announcing that he was “unable to compete.”

Freire did step on the scale at official weigh-ins and made weight for the featherweight bout.

Braga (23-8-1), who was a PFL finalist last season, had been scheduled to compete only five weeks after the death of his coach and father, Diego Braga. According to reports, Diego Braga was killed by organized crime in Rio de Janeiro.

Freire (35-7) was looking to put a bad stretch behind him with this return. In 2023, he went 0-2 before getting sidelined due to injury. The Brazilian lost to Sergio Pettis in June in an attempt to capture the Bellator bantamweight title and become the first fighter to win titles in three weight classes, and was knocked out by Chihiro Suzuki in a big upset at a Rizin event in Japan.

PFL vs. Bellator: Champions, which streams Saturday on ESPN+ and pay-per-view, will proceed with 11 bouts.

Below is the complete lineup:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Renan Ferreira vs. Ryan Bader

  • Impa Kasanganay vs. Johnny Eblen

  • Ray Cooper III vs. Jason Jackson

  • Bruno Cappelozza vs. Vadim Nemkov

  • Thiago Santos vs. Yoel Romero

  • Clay Collard vs. A.J. McKee


  • Henry Corrales vs. Aaron Pico

  • Biaggio Ali Walsh vs. Emmanuel Palacio

  • Claressa Shields vs. Kelsey De Santis

  • Abdullah Al-Qahtani vs. Edukondala Rao

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for PFL vs. Bellator: Champions.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie