Bellator 270 Report: Patricky Pitbull defeats Peter Queally to claim the vacant Bellator Lightweight Championship
By: Eric Marcotte
On Friday afternoon Bellator 270 took place from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The card was headlined by a bout for the vacant Bellator Lightweight Championship, with Patricky “Pitbull” Freire facing Peter Queally. The championship was vacated by Patricky’s brother, Patricio, earlier this year following his loss at featherweight to A.J. McKee, and it was decided that this fight between Queally and Freire would determine the division’s new champion. Queally and Freire fought earlier this year, in a competitive fight that was won by Queally, after the bout was stopped due to a deep cut on the top of Pitbull’s head. The cut was caused by a completely legal elbow from Queally, but the finish certainly led to an unsatisfying finish to their first matchup. The co-main event featured a fight between two of the top grapplers in the bantamweight division, Patchy Mix and James Gallagher. Commentary for this card was provided by the team of Sean Grande and John McCarthy, and the analytical team consisted of Josh Thompson and Aidan Power.
*Yusuf Nazokatov def. Stephen Costello by heel hook at 2:24 of Round 2
*Danni Neilan def. Audrey Kerouche by TKO at 3:58 of Round 3
*Nicolò Solli def. Bobby Pallett by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
*Gökhan Saricam def. Charlie Milner by KO at 0:15 of Round 1
*Lee Chadwick def. Arunas Andriuskevicus by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
*Daniele Scatizzi def. Brian Hooi by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Ciaran Clarke def. Jordan Barton by rear-naked choke at 4:11 of Round 3
*Ilias Bulaid def. Sasu Georges by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
*Pedro Carvalho def. Daniel Weichel by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Patchy Mix def. James Gallagher by guillotine choke at 0:39 of Round 3
*Patricky “Pitbull” Freire def. Peter Queally by TKO at 1:05 of Round 2 to win the Bellator Lightweight Championship
ILIAS BULAID (2-0, 145.8) VS GEORGES SASU (5-1, 144.6) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Sasu pursued a takedown early, but Bulaid was able to defend the attempt and began to throw some heavy leg kicks after separating. Bulaid landed a spinning back kick to the body, as well as a straight right hand. Sasu was clearly a step behind Bulaid on the feet, and was fighting tentatively as a result. Bulaid defended another takedown attempt to end the round. 10-9 Bulaid.
Bulaid began the second round with a series of strong body shots, prompting Sasu to shoot for another takedown. This time, Sasu was successful, but he was unable to keep Bulaid down for long, and the fight resumed on the feet. Bulaid continued to dominate the action on the feet, throwing with precision and landing with power. Sasu was unable to get the fight back to the ground, and I thought this was another clear round for Bulaid. 20-18 Bulaid.
About a minute into round two, Sasu brought an off-balance Bulaid back down, where he began to work from Bulaid’s guard. He was unable to do much with the position, and Bulaid eventually worked his way back to the feet with ninety seconds remaining. Sasu continued to look for takedowns for the remainder of the round, but he was unable to get the fight back to the ground before time expired. 29-28 Bulaid.
WINNER: Ilias Bulaid by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
I thought a couple of these scorecards were very strange. 29-28 for Sasu and 30-27 for Bulaid are both very difficult for me to see, but regardless, the right fighter ultimately got his arm raised here. Throughout the first ten minutes, Bulaid’s takedown defense held up very well, and he was able to showcase his kickboxing abilities. Bulaid has a lot of potentials, and Bellator knew what they were doing by placing him on this main card, despite only having two professional MMA bouts coming into this one. Bulaid is now 3-0 in Bellator.
DANIEL WEICHEL (41-12, 145.6) VS PEDRO CARVALHO (11-5, 145.8) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Carvalho threw a number of body kicks throughout the opening minute. Weichel eventually caught a leg and dragged Carvalho to the ground, where he quickly took his back. Carvalho escaped to his feet by the halfway point of the round but was knocked back to the ground by a right hand from Weichel, who immediately jumped back on him. Weichel was looking for a rear-naked choke, however, Carvalho rolled on top, ending the round in Weichel’s guard. 10-9 Weichel.
Carvalho loaded up with a right hand to begin round two, prompting Weichel to respond with one of his own, and Weichel’s knocked Carvalho to the ground once again. This time, Weichel was looking for an armbar, but once again, Carvalho survived and escaped to his feet. The earlier knockdowns did not deter Weichel from advancing, and I thought he seemed like the fresher fighter by this point in the bout. Carvalho was doing some very good work on his feet throughout the last two minutes of this round, tagging Weichel repeatedly against the cage. This was a tough round to score. 19-19.
Carvalho began the final round with an uppercut and a head kick. Weichel smartly changed levels, taking Carvalho down in the center of the cage. Weichel attempted to take Carvalho’s back, but Carvalho was able to roll into top position, where he began to work from Weichel’s guard. Eventually, they returned to the feet, which led to an entertaining final minute, with both fighters brawling until the final bell. 29-28 Carvalho.
WINNER: Pedro Carvalho by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
This was a very close fight, and I wouldn’t have been shocked if the decision went the other way. Carvalho’s pressure on the feet was his greatest strength throughout the bout, overwhelming Weichel whenever he put his back to the cage. Still, the knockdowns belonged to Weichel, as did the takedowns. It would not have been absurd to award all three rounds to Weichel, yet I ultimately agreed with the judge’s unanimous 29-28 scorecards. After a pair of tough knockout losses, this was a much-needed win for Carvalho, in front of an Irish crowd that was completely behind him (Carvalho fights out of the SBG Ireland camp). Carvalho is now 5-2 in Bellator MMA.
PATCHY MIX (14-1, 137.8) VS JAMES GALLAGHER (11-1, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Mix missed weight by 1.8lbs and was fined a percentage of his purse.
Mix and Gallagher aggressively touched gloves to begin the fight. Gallagher wasted no time in lifting Mix up in the air for a takedown, before placing him down near the cage. Mix attempted a guillotine choke but was unsuccessful, and Gallagher started looking for one of his own. The submission attempt did not pay off for Gallagher, and Mix was able to take top position, where he began to work from the guard of Gallagher. With just over ninety seconds remaining in the round, Gallagher escaped to his feet, where the remainder of the round was spent. I thought Gallagher seemed to be the more comfortable striker, and he ended the round with another takedown.
A low blow to Mix brought a momentary pause to the action early in the second round. Mix shot for a takedown after about ninety seconds but was almost caught in a guillotine choke in the process. Mix avoided the submission and began to work from Gallagher’s guard against the cage. The commentary team pointed out a handful of cage grabs from Gallagher on the ground, but no action was taken by the referee. Mix was not terribly active from on top until the final moments of the round, where he was able to drop a handful of elbows.
Mix jumped on a guillotine attempt seconds into the third round, and he had it locked in tight. Gallagher was unable to escape and tapped out after Mix improved his position.
WINNER: Patchy Mix by guillotine choke at 0:39 of Round 3
Gallagher had his moments throughout this bout, but Mix just seemed to be the slightest step ahead on the ground, and ultimately got the finish early in round three. Whenever you have a matchup between two submission specialists, there is that worry that the entirety of the fight will be spent sloppily trading jabs on the feet, but thankfully we got to see these two grapple for the majority of this fight, leading to some interesting exchanges and transitions. The crowd was extremely loud here in support of Gallagher, but the finish left them dead quiet. Mix now has a record of 4-1 in Bellator MMA.
PETER QUEALLY (13-5-1, 155) VS PATRICKY “PITBULL” FREIRE (23-10, 153.6) – BELLATOR LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Queally and Pitbull fought in May of this year, a fight that Queally won by doctors’ stoppage at the end of the second round.
The crowd was so loud here, you could barely hear Michael C. Williams announcing the fighters. Queally began the fight with a sharp jab, as well as a series of kicks to the legs and body. Pitbull fired back with combinations of his own, attacking the body with hooks. They exchanged heavy right hands, and Pitbull threw another hard combination of punches to the body to end round one.
An eye poke to Pitbull brought a quick halt to the second round, as a doctor was brought in to check on him. It was determined that he could continue, and shortly after the fight resumed, Pitbull landed a right hand that dropped Queally hard. Queally attempted to pick himself up and recover, but Pitbull dropped him multiple times within seconds, and the fight was stopped as Pitbull connected with numerous right hands to a severely rocked Peter Queally against the cage.
WINNER: Patricky “Pitbull” Freire by TKO at 1:05 of Round 2 to win the Bellator Lightweight Championship
After a decade in the promotion, Patricky Pitbull has finally claimed Bellator gold. This was a competitive fight while it lasted, but Pitbull’s combinations to the body were the difference-maker. They ate away at Queally quickly, and the initial big right hand that dropped Queally in the second did the rest of the work. Honestly, I thought this was Patricky Pitbull’s most impressive performance in years, and much like the previous fight, the Irish crowd was left silenced as their hometown fighter was finished. I think Sidney Outlaw and Brent Primus are probably the two fighters most likely to get the first crack at the new champion, but there is no shortage of options for Pitbull’s next opponent at lightweight, including the undefeated Usman Nurmagomedov, or even a bout against the promotions Featherweight Champion, A.J. McKee.