Bellator 241 fight card, predictions: Patricio Freire vs. Pedro Carvalho start time, odds, live stream


If the chatter coming out of this week’s press events are any indication, the main event of Bellator 241 on Friday should be a soap opera worth watching. 

In Bellator MMA’s equivalent to the feuding Hatfields and McCoys, the recent war of words between the Freire brothers, nicknamed “the Pitbulls,” and the camp of SBG in Ireland only escalated during Monday’s news conference in New York. 

Just days out from Patricio “Pitbull” Freire’s featherweight title defense against Pedro Carvalho, which serves as a quarterfinal matchup in the Bellator MMA Featherweight Grand Prix tournament, the two fighters joined their teammates in trading insults and threats in a verbal skirmish that, at times, took over the press event. 

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“It’s a big deal in Bellator because [SBG] is a great team and have a lot of fighters,” Freire said. “I think they fight good but they talk too much and I’m going to stop it. That’s it.

“We are ready. [Carvalho] has been talking a lot of s— and we are going to make them respect us inside the cage.”

Freire (30-4) was flanked by older brother Patricky and teammate Leandro Higo (who faces Dominic Mazzotta on Friday) in his beef with SBG. Carvalho (11-3), meanwhile, had the mouthpiece of the brash James Gallagher among others by his side on Monday.

“These guys run their mouths talking about SBG. First of all, they were the first to come with this bulls— and trying to have our attention,” Carvalho said. “Then, when they got answers, they start to say we talk a lot. 

“They were the ones talking s– from the very first time but, backstage, they don’t act like that. I tried to look at their eyes and they were shitting themselves. They just act tough for the cameras. They are warriors and they have my respect but inside the cage, the eyes never lie.”

Regardless of who started the disagreement, the drama has helped sell Friday’s title bout as a grudge match of sorts as the 32-year-old Freire makes the fourth defense of his second title reign at 145 pounds. 

The fact that this title bout will be a five-round fight while others in the tournament have been three isn’t sitting well with Freire, especially considering the recently concluded Bellator MMA Welterweight Grand Prix, which featured then-champion Rory MacDonald at the launch, was contested exclusively in five-round fights so as to not give anyone a disadvantage. 

“I don’t agree and I think it’s wrong. I’m the world champion and I’m training five rounds, every round and double of everybody,” Freire said. “I don’t agree with having to fight five rounds while everyone else is fighting three rounds. Everybody should be doing five rounds in the tournament and not just me.”

Despite Freire’s displeasure, he believes his stamina will play a major role in this fight considering he first fought for a title in 2013 and has gone the full championship distance six times. Monday’s press event also gave the two fighters a chance to stare down at close range in what became an electric faceoff. 

“I saw chaos in his eyes,” Freire said. “I know what I’m going to do.”

Freire outpointed Juan Archuleta last September in the first round of the tournament. Carvalho, who submitted Sam Sicilia to advance to the quarterfinals, is expecting to do the same to the champion.

“I am an MMA fighter. It doesn’t matter where the fight goes, I can finish this fight,” Carvalho said. “I am a better striker and he is only a counter puncher. He started his career as a pitbull but right now he is just a chess player trying to win rounds.”

In addition to his featherweight reign, Freire knocked out Michael Chandler last May to capture the lightweight championship. He expects to return to 155 pounds after the tournament but also shared plans to hopefully become the first three-division champion in Bellator history. 

“I also want the bantamweight belt so I am going to ask for that,” Freire said. “I want to be the only one.”

In addition to the main event, the undercard presents a number of interesting fights including the Daniel Weichel-Emmanuel Sanchez featherweight co-main event. Matt Mitrione will replace Josh Barnett for his heavyweight bout against Ronny Markes while Nick Newell, Leslie Smith and Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson Jr. will also be featured. 

Bellator 241 viewing information

Date: March 13 | Location: Mohegan Sun Casino — Uncasville, Connecticut
Time: 10 p.m. ET
Stream: DAZN

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook UK

Fight card, odds

Patricio Friere (c) -909

Pedro Carvalho +550

Featherweight title

Emmanuel Sanchez -161

Daniel Weichel +130

Featherweights

Paul Daley -400

Sabah Homasi +300

Welterweights

Matt Mitrione -149

Ronny Markes +120

Heavyweights

Anatoly Tokov -1250 Fabio Agular +650 Middleweights

Nick Newell -250

Zack Zane +190

Lightweights

Prediction

Carvalho presents a unique challenge in a fight where passions are amplified due to the issues between camps. Given Freire’s history as an explosive finisher, that shouldn’t be looked at as a negative. 

Freire will need to establish his power early to keep the fight contested on his own terms and set up a potential finish. Given his run of late, it’s hard to discount his chances of doing just that provided he can avoid any traps on the ground.

Pick: Freire via TKO4





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