Bellator 123: Pitbull Takes Featherweight Title In Rematch

Bellator 123UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Patricio “Pitbull” Friere (22-2) is the new Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion after winning by a unanimous decision over Pat Curran (20-6), taking the belt from the two-time champion at Bellator 123 on Friday night. The scorecards went in favor of Friere 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 who avenged his loss by split decision at Bellator 85, a fight he thought he had won, and now begins his reign as champion in the Bellator MMA featherweight division.

In the first round both fighters went through an extended feeling out period that drew the ire of fans in attendance. Strikes were few in that round as the competitors were looking for opportunities in a round that could have gone to either fighter. The second round went in favor of Curran who landed a flying knee to Friere’s right eye later in the round.

The new champion dominated the third round landing more powerful strikes that sent Curran to the mat and left him scrambling. Curran managed to get the fight back to his pace for another round that could have gone either way as his volume striking brand of fighting seemed to keep “Pitbull” at bay.

The final round went heavily in favor of Friere as he out-struck his opponent and landed some massive shots that kept Curran reeling throughout the round. As the decision was announced, “Pitbull” was definitely exuberant about what he, and most fans, felt was a bout that went his way as he was crowned the new Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion.

Heavyweight Cheik Congo (21-9-2) defeated Lavar Johnson (18-9) by submission after out-striking his opponent 31-3. Another heavyweight Bobby Lashley (11-2) defeated Josh Burns (8-7) by submission in a dominant performance as Lashley out-struck Burns 76-3 and getting two takedowns to none.

In a middleweight bout, Tamdan McCrory (11-3) knocked out Renan Ward (9-2) with four strikes and light heavyweight Muhammed Lawal (12-4) knocked out Dustin Jacoby (10-3) landing 42 more strikes in the fight.

Bellator MMA fans got to witness a center-ring scuffle between Tito Ortiz (17-11) and Stephan Bonnar (15-8) as their light heavyweight match-up for Bellator 131 was announced. Rumor is that UFC President Dana White let Bonnar out of his UFC contract just so that he could go beat Ortiz.