Former champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire returns against John Teixeira at Bellator 153; Ward welcomes Santos

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Two new fights have been added to the Bellator 153 event coming to the Mohegan Sun on April 22, with former Featherweight Champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire among the four new competitors booked for the card.

Bellator officials announced on Tuesday that Freire will take on John “Macapa” Teixeira on the card, while Middleweight Title challenger Brennan Ward will welcome Strikeforce vet Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to the Bellator cage.

Freire’s seven-fight winning streak came to an end in his last fight, as he dropped a decision to Daniel Straus two fights after submitting him. That loss cost him the Bellator Featherweight Title, and now he’ll take on Teixeira in an attempt to get right back on track.

Teixeira, 29, brings with him a stellar 19-1-2 mark, including wins in all three of his Bellator appearances to date. Teixeira made one appearance in the UFC out of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” losing a split decision to Hugo Viana after missing weight in 2012. He’s unbeaten in eight straight since then.

Ward returns to Bellator after a one-off with the new Rizin Fighting Federation promotion in Japan on New Year’s Eve, where he scored a second round submission for his fourth straight victory. He’ll take on Santos in a welterweight fight in just Santos’ second fight since April of 2014. He returned last month after a significant time off, defeating Artenas Young.

Bellator 153 will be headlined by Benson Henderson’s organizational debut, when he takes on Andrei Koreshkov for the Bellator Welterweight Championship.

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