Pat Curran set to make second title defense in season eight of Bellator

The eighth season of Bellator MMA began on January 17th in Irvine, California and the first fight on Spike TV saw Pat Curran make his first Bellator featherweight title defense and he defeated Patricio Pitbull by split decision.Pat Curran

After taking a week off, Curran called Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney and told him that he wanted to get back into action as soon as possible.

Due to an injury that Curran suffered last year, the Bellator featherweight division is backed up and Curran wants to get the division caught up.

“My last fight was a war, I was pretty banged up but after a week my body recovered very quickly and I got right back into the gym,” Curran told “I am one of those fighters that can’t take to much time off and I love training. I want to keep the ball rolling and I know the featherweight division is pretty backed up in Bellator and I want to get them caught back up.”

Curran (18-4, 8-1 Bellator) was originally scheduled to defend the Bellator title against season six tournament winner Daniel Straus at Bellator 95, but Straus had to pull out of the fight with an injury. With Straus out, Bellator turned to season seven tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev.

Straus and Shamhalaev are different opponents as Straus likes to take the fight to the ground and Shamhalaev is a striker with all three of his wins coming in Bellator by knockout. Mixed martial arts fans are excited for this upcoming fight and Curran believes it will be an entertaining fight to watch.

“I am excited for every fight and anybody that goes through that tournament definitely deserves a title shot and they deserve to be there. They are two different fighters as Straus likes to wrestle and get you to the ground and Shamhalaev has been knocking everyone out. It’s going to make for an entertaining fight and I consider both of us good strikers, good counter strikers and it’s going to be an interesting matchup.”

Shamhalaev (14-1, 3-0 Bellator) entered Bellator last year in the season seven tournament and his first two fights in Bellator ended in the first round by knockout. He defeated Rad Martinez in the tournament final last month at Bellator 90 and the fight ended in the second round by knockout. Curran knows what Shamhalaev likes to do and what he will have to watch out for next month in Atlantic City.

“I think he is the same fighter. He has been catching everyone with the big over hand right and that is the killer shot that he has. He has been catching everyone with it. When he feels and see that he has hurt you, he goes 100 percent and he will do anthing to go for the knockout and finish you. As always, I am going to have to keep my hands high and block well.”

If Curran is successful against Shamhalaev, he will have nine wins in Bellator which would be the most in the history in the company. He is currently tied with several other fighters with the most wins in Bellator, which includes current middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko and welterweight champion Ben Askren.