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SAN JOSE, Calif. – Bellator lightweight Patricky Freire believes he’s earned the right to cut the line of contenders at 155 pounds.

Although many think Michael Chandler’s (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) freak injury loss to champ Brent Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) guarantees a rematch, “Pitbull” Freire said he should be first.

“Listen, I’m the top dog,” Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) told MMAjunkie after his split-call win over ex-UFC champ Benson Henderson (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) at Bellator 183. “He was fighting, he got hurt. He hurt his leg. Nobody knows what happened, and two weeks later, he’s running. That’s his fault.

“I’m at the top of the list. I’ve been at the top of the list for 18 victories. This is my chance. This is my shot. That’s why I deserve it.”

Freire edged Henderson in a Spike-televised headliner at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., coming on strong in the third and final frame of a very close fight.

“I feel prepared for the big gold,” Freire said backstage after the fight.

Chandler undoubtedly will have something to say about that. But soon after the fight, he let a video clip do the talking, posting a highlight reel of his wins over Freire and Henderson in his second title reign.

“I still have one more ‘Pitbull’ on my list,” Chandler wrote, signaling Freire’s younger brother, featherweight champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

For the elder Freire, one big name is now on his list of wins. So far, he’s been unable to capture Bellator gold. But his argument just got stronger for another chance.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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