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Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire displayed class and optimism following his devastating loss to A.J. McKee at Bellator 263.
It was a tough night in the cage for now-former Bellator featherweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire at Bellator 263, falling to top contender A.J. McKee in the Featherweight World Grand Prix finals just minutes into the bout.
But Freire handled the brutal defeat with class and wanted to show his young son how to handle adversity in the best way possible.
After getting rocked by a powerful head kick by McKee and getting knocked down in the process, Freire was able to work his way back to his feet for a brief moment before McKee secured a standing-guillotine choke, stopping the fight and losing his featherweight title.
Freire looked perplexed and upset by the loss, but he congratulated the new champion and his team for the victory in the center of the cage as confetti fell from above. After it was unknown whether or not Freire would speak to the media following the defeat, he not only made an appearance at the post-fight press conference but was joined by his son to show him the importance of dealing with losses the right way.
“I told him ‘Son, today was a bad day, but it’s part of life,” Freire told FanSided’s Amy Kaplan during his post-fight interview. “For me, he’s a happy little boy and he’s going to remember this. He loved being with my family during fight week.”
Freire’s loss to McKee was his first in a long time, with his last previous defeat coming against Benson Henderson at Bellator 160. He earned double-champion status and still holds the Bellator lightweight belt which he said he intends to defend in the near future, possibly against McKee.
Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire remains one of Bellator’s biggest stars
While the future for Freire remains unknown, he’ll now take some time to spend with his family following the devastating loss to McKee at Bellator 263. He remains one of the biggest names in Bellator and has the opportunity to avenge his loss to McKee down the line, whether it be at featherweight or lightweight.
Bellator 263 took place on July 31, 2021, live from Forum in Los Angeles, CA. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.