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Cris Cyborg to defend Bellator title Nov. 12; Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire vacates lightweight title

One top Bellator star will be defending her belt next month. Another will be giving up his title.

Bellator president Scott Coker stated Wednesday on The MMA Hour that Cris Cyborg will defend her women’s featherweight title versus Sinead Kavanagh on Nov. 12 in Hollywood, Florida. Coker also revealed that Patricio “Pitbull” Freire has vacated his lightweight title. On Nov. 5 in Ireland, Peter Queally will fight Freire’s brother Patricky for the vacant belt.

Patricio dropped his featherweight title to AJ McKee on July 31. Patricio said on The MMA Hour that he will now turn focus to getting the McKee rematch at featherweight, which opens the door for his brother to become lightweight champion.

“First thing is, I lost the featherweight division,” Patricio said. “For me, it doesn’t make sense to be a champion in the lightweight division. If I lost at 145 pounds, I can’t be the champion at 155.”

Cyborg (24-2, 1 NC) is one of the greatest women’s fighters in MMA history.

The Brazil native, who fights out of California, is 3-0 in Bellator, defeating Julia Budd for the women’s featherweight title in January 2020. Cyborg, 36, has lost just once since her pro debut in 2005, to UFC double champion Amanda Nunes. Cyborg is the only MMA fighter to win titles in four major promotions: UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and Invicta FC.

Kavanagh (7-4) has won two in a row. The 35-year-old Ireland native, who trains out of SBG Ireland (Conor McGregor’s team in Dublin), is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Katharina Lehner in October 2020.

Queally (13-5-1), another SBG Ireland product, is coming off a second-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage) over Patricky “Pitbull,” a result that Freire’s team disputed at the time. Patricky (23-10) has dropped two straight. Coker also revealed Wednesday that beginning Jan. 1, 2022 all Bellator main events, whether they are title or non-title fights, will be contested over five rounds.

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