This weekend, Bellator 76 is host to a main event in the lightweight division between Eddie Alvarez and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. Both men are at the top of the food chain in the 155-pound division of Bellator and are looking to entertain the fans. On the surface, this looks like just another fight. Yet when examined more closely, it turns out that Bellator may have a diamond in the rough for “Fight of the Year” if both men come to fight like they usually do.
Alvarez is the former lightweight champion in Bellator. Debuting in 2003, he has only lost three times in his 26-fight career. He is always one to come and bring the fight to his opponent in the cage.
Just look at his finishing rate. Alvarez has earned 20 stoppages in 23 victories, with the three decisions he has won being the only decisions he has seen during his career. Whether he wins or loses, he makes sure he finishes his opponent or gets finished while trying.
Despite losing his belt two fights ago to Michael Chandler, he showed his ability to shed that memory by destroying Shinya Aoki with a devastating onslaught of punches. In addition to that win, Alvarez owns victories over Pat Curran, Roger Huerta, Josh Neer, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Joachim Hansen and countless other staples of the MMA community. With a track record like that, you know Alvarez is tough as nails.
Also consider that this may be Alvarez’s last fight on the Bellator roster. He is going to want to impress, as he could find himself holding a UFC contract in the future. Expect him to come out and headhunt Freire in this bout.
On the other side of the cage, Freire is no slouch either. Pitbull is 10-3 and is a Bellator tournament veteran that owns some spectacular finishes.
Freire owns eight stoppages, including devastating knockouts of Rob McCullough, Toby Imada and Kurt Pellegrino. He is a grappler by trade, but has shown that his striking is similarly as lethal.
If this fight stays standing, you will be in for a real treat. Alvarez’s boxing is extremely refined, and Freire’s Muay Thai is dangerous. They could give us a striking battle that rivals most that have happened on the year.
If the fight goes to the mat, their styles will clash. Alvarez is more of a wrestling-based ground-and-pound fighter that will pull out a submission if necessary. Freire is a classic grappler with good submission ability to tap anyone out.
So, you should take the time to watch Bellator 76 this weekend. You could be in for a real treat when these guys throwdown at the end of the card.
Photo: Alvarez (R) controls his opponent (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)