It was a scary injury.
Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran
was winding down his training camp for a title defense against
Freire in August, and he caught a punch that put him on the
sidelines for weeks with a fractured orbital.
“I guess I was sparring with a guy a little bit too big,” Curran
told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He was a boxer.
I was just boxing down in Chicago. I don’t know, it was just a
freak accident. I was sparring with him pretty much the whole camp
leading up to the fight. It was my second to last sparring session
and he just clipped me with a right hook, and it fractured it.”
If a fractured orbital sounds painful, that’s because it is.
“It was pretty painful,” Curran said. “It was my first time ever
fracturing my orbital. When it happened, I really didn’t know what
was going on. I was instantly blind. My nose started bleeding on
the same side and I pretty much lost vision for about 30 minutes.
It was hard for me to see out of that eye for a while, but in time,
The injury didn’t require surgery. Instead, Curran went eight weeks
without sparring and then switched to thicker headgear before
jumping back in the ring to prepare for his defense against Freire,
which takes place Thursday at Bellator Fighting Championships
“Pretty much my first sparring session, I just jumped right back
into it,” Curran said. “I didn’t even think about it. It wasn’t
even on my mind. I just wanted to get back into training.”
Curran enters the bout on a four-fight win streak. However, after a
March knockout of Joe Warren,
he appeared to be headed into the originally scheduled date with
Freire at full momentum.
“After the injury I was very disappointed,” Curran said. “I was
upset with myself. It’s something I couldn’t have done anything
about, but it was definitely a setback in our plans.”
Now that he’s fully recovered, though, he’s not worried about the
time he had to take off. If anything, Curran said, the fight’s
delay has given him even more time to develop his skills. And even
though he’s been on the sidelines, Freire has as well, having not
fought since May 2011.
“It’s really hard to [know what to] expect, but I’m looking to
stand and trade,” Curran said. “If it hits the ground, I’m looking
to submit him or either get back up and just keep it standing.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:01:27).