Patricio Freire vs. Juan Archuleta set for September
Earlier this year Bellator teased fans with a massive featherweight grand-prix but the first fight of the event was revealed only now.
According to ESPN, Bellator featherweight and lightweight champion Patricio Freire (29-4) will put his 145-pound belt at stake in a fight with one of the most impressive prospects Juan Archuleta (23-1). The two will meet in the cage in Inglewood, California, on September 28.
Patricio Freire became champion in two weight divisions at the Bellator 221 in May. While holding the featherweight belt, he went up to 155 pounds to fight Michael Chandler. Freire was the underdog but it didn’t stop him from knocking Chandler out the first minute into the fight. “The Pitbull” earned his featherweight belt in 2017 after he defeated Daniel Straus; then he defended it twice – against Daniel Weichel and Emmanuel Sanchez.
Juan Archuleta is on an impressive 18-win streak. He secured the King of the Cage championship belts in three weight divisions and won five fights in Bellator, including over former UFC fighter Robbie Peralta, prospect Ricky Bandejas, and former Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas.
Unlike previous Bellator Gran-Prix with eight participants, the featherweight gran-prix will include 16.