Last Friday, in the main event of Bellator 160, former Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire took on former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson for the chance to fight Michael Chandler for the Bellator lightweight title. Unfortunately, the bout turned into a bit of a disaster for the Brazilian slugger.
Despite a strong first round, throughout which he repeatedly tagged the much larger Henderson, Freire ultimately lost in the second, bowing out of the fight with a freak injury: a broken fibula (calf bone).
According to MMAFighting.com, however, Freire will not be undergoing surgery for this injury. Instead, he’ll spend the next three months recovering, and is planning a return to the Bellator cage sometime in early 2017. Given the fact that leg injuries have kept other fighters on the shelf for much longer stretches, Freire’s relatively speedy recovery is undeniably good news.
In the wake of his Friday night loss, the brick-fisted featherweight addressed his fans with the following Instagram post:
Unfortunelly I injured my leg in the first round. I was still able to fight for half of the second but I felt the bone move. I was doing really well, confident and winning the fight. I'll be back soon. – Infelizmente lesionei minha perna no primeiro round da luta. Ainda consegui lutar metade do segundo, mas senti o osso sair do lugar. Estava muito bem, confiante e vencendo a luta. Voltarei em breve. #Bellator160 @bellatormma
While Freire recovers, the Bellator lightweight division will move on in his stead, as Benson Henderson is scheduled to challenge Michael Chandler at Bellator 163 on July 19 in San Jose.