Three times or “rubber match” of two fighters shows a lack of depth to a division, a fourth matchup is borderline insulting to a division. It is also the main event of Bellator 178 as featherweight champion Daniel Straus once again faces Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Bellator 178 takes place April 21st at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT with an undercard webstreamed at Spike.com, main care broadcast on Spike TV.
The first time Daniel Straus faced Patricio Freire was in May 2011 at Bellator 45, a fight Freire won by unanimous decision. Freire also won the rematch in January 2015 but Straus won the third fight in November 2015. Their history gets a little more complicated from the belt perspective, suffice it to say Straus has never successfully defended the belt despite holding it twice with this being his second reign while Freire held the belt through two defenses before losing it to Straus.
25-6 Straus hasn’t fought since winning the belt from Freire a year-and-a-half ago while Freire went on to defeat Henry Corrales in April 2016 before losing to Benson Henderson at lightweight in August of last year to stand 25-4.
There are some who say Straus should have been stripped of the belt for not defending it in the course of one year or Daniel Weichel should have had the chance to rematch Freire but this matchup is sure to bring in ratings so as the saying goes “it is what it is”.
The co-main event is Bellator’s foray into the women’s flyweight division, a division the UFC doesn’t currently have a champion. MacFarlane is undefeated at 5-0, 4-0 in Bellator with wins last year over Amber Tackett, Rebecca Ruth, and Emily Ducote. 2-0 Middleton defeated Bruna Ellen and Alice Yauger, both in Bellator.
Prelims at Spike.com
- 165: Nick Alley vs. Kastriot Xhema
- 165: Kemran Lachinov vs. Sam Watford
- FW: Shane Manley vs. Chris Foster
- MW: Tim Caron vs. Jordan Young
- FW: Mike Mangan vs. Don Shainis
- Flyweight: John Lopez vs. Remo Cardarelli
- BW: Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Jay Perrin
- Flyweight: Billy Giovanella vs. Josh Ricci
- FW: Blair Tugman vs. Tom English
- HW: Tyrell Fortune vs. Branko Busick
- MW: Ed Ruth vs. David Mundell
Main card on Spike TV
- FW: A.J. McKee vs. Dominic Mazzotta
- 165: Ryan Quinn vs. Saad Awad
- W Flyweight: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Jessica Middleton
- FW title: Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire