Patricio “Pitbull” Freire to Fight Sergio Pettis at Bellator 297 for Chance to Become Three-Division Champion

Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is hoping to make history…

The 35-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, who reigns at featherweight and vacated the lightweight title in 2021, will go for a third belt when he takes on bantamweight champ Sergio Pettis at Bellator 297 on June 16 in Chicago.

Patricio "Pitbull" FreireIf he wins, Freire will become the first three-division champ in a major fight promotion.

The bout at Wintrust Arena will serve as the co-main event of another newly announced title fight, in which light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov will defend against Yoel Romero. Those two originally were slated to meet in February, but Nemkov withdrew for an undisclosed reason.

The bantamweight title bout will be Pettis’ second defense of a championship he won in 2021. He has won five fights in a row, a run extending back to his time with the UFC, but has not competed since December 2021 because of injury.

Freire, who already is arguably the most accomplished fighter in Bellator MMA history, has won three in a row and 10 of his past 11.

The Pettis-Freire winner is expected to face the winner of the ongoing Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix. Interim champ Raufeon Stots and Patchy Mix will meet in the tournament final April 22.

Nemkov is unbeaten in his past 11 fights, most recently winning a decision over Corey Anderson in November for his third successful title defense.

Romero, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist in wrestling who in 2020 challenged for the UFC middleweight belt, has won two in row, both by knockout. He will be 46 years old on fight night.

Dominick Reyes to Fight for Jon Jones’ Recently Vacated UFC Light Heavyweight Title

Dominick Reyes will be fighting for a title next month…

The 30-year-old Mexican American professional mixed martial artist will face off against Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title vacated by longtime champion Jon Jones.

Dominick Reyes

A bout between Reyes and Blachowicz had already been set for UFC 253 on September 26. But the UFC made it official: the two top contenders will be going for the vacant light heavyweight title.

Reyes (12-1), ranked No. 3 in the world by ESPN among light heavyweight fighters, is coming off a controversial, unanimous-decision loss to Jones at UFC 247 in February. It was a bout many thought the California native should’ve won on the scorecards.

Blachowicz (26-8) has won three straight, the most recent a first-round knockout of Corey Anderson in February. The 37-year-old is ranked No. 4 by ESPN at light heavyweight.

This will mark only the second time that the UFC light heavyweight title will not be in a card’s main event. The first was Daniel Cormier‘s title defense against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 on Jan. 21, 2018.

UFC 253 will be headlined by a middleweight fight between champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Paulo Costa.

Jones had held the light heavyweight belt off and on since 2011 and never lost it in the cage. The champion expressed his intent to move up to heavyweight.