If Bellator wants to attract fans to their Spike TV broadcasts they’re going to have to deliver main events that have more recognizable fighters than the two featherweights that headlined Friday’s Bellator 99, Diego Nunes and Patricio Freire. I don’t mean to take anything away from either fighter, they’re both talented veterans, but both hardcore and casual MMA fans tend to stay away from lighter weight fights even when they two fighters are very recognizable names.
For those that did not tune into this one, you missed out.
Freire has two losses on his professional record. Both of those defeats have come while he was fighting for Bellator. The first was a split decision defeat to Joe Warren in the season 2 featherweight tournament final. Friere’s more recent defeat was a five-round split decision loss to Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran.
If the intro video for Friday’s fight is any indication, Freire is obsessed with getting a rematch with Curran. He took a big step toward that goal when he dropped Diego Nunes early in the first round.
Freire caught Nunes with a short left behind the ear and ended the fight just 79-seconds after it had begun.
Prior to the bout, the then 18-4 Nunes had told MMAJunkie.com that he was looking to end his streak of 11 straight decisions (7-4) with a surprise knockout victory. Unfortunately for Nunes he was on the receiving end of the surprise knockout.
There’s no doubt that Freire is the favorite to win the tournament and earn another shot at Curran, and that’s a fight that all fans should tune in to see. It’s just too bad we’ll have to wait for the conclusion of the tournament to see that bout take place.