Just 23 years of age, Curran has earned the respect of the entire MMA community (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament Winner Switches Weight Class
Bellator Fighting Championships Season 2 Lightweight Tournament winner Pat Curran (13-4) has officially made the move to the featherweight division, and the Illinois native will battle in the featherweight competition being held by the promotion next season. Curran will make his debut in the weight class at Bellator 46 on June 25th, which is also the same night that the featherweight tournament officially gets underway.
“I’ve fought at featherweight for most of my career, so I’m really excited to get back to a weight class where I can really do some damage,” Curran stated. “I had some great results as a lightweight, but I’m really going to make some noise in this summer featherweight tournament.”
Curran fought predominately in the Xtreme Fighting Organization (XFO) prior to being selected as a participant in the Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament. Considered a pretty big underdog for the competition, he defeated Canadian mixed martial artist Mike Ricci, former UFC fighter Roger Huerta and then 41-match veteran Toby Imada in the finals to claim the season crown and title shot against champion Eddie Alvarez. He gave a gritty and impressive performance against Alvarez at Bellator 39, who was an overwhelming favorite, battling the champion for the full 25 minutes before suffering a unanimous decision loss.
“Pat’s got more heart than I could ever dream of having at 23-years-old,” Alvarez said of Curran. “The resiliency he showed for five rounds was incredible.”
Bellator CEO and Chairman Bjorn Rebney also agreed with the assessment by Alvarez.
“Eddie Alvarez was right on target when he talked about Pat’s heart, but Pat also has spectacular knockout power and a great all-around mixed martial arts arsenal,” he stated. “Pat Curran will be a beast at 145.”
While confirmations have not yet been made, Sengoku veteran Ronnie Mann and Brazilian knockout artist Marlon Sandro are two fighters also being considered for the Bellator Season 5 Featherweight Tournament.