Eddie Alvarez will put his belt on the line | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez will defend his title for the first time on April 2 against second-season tournament winner Pat Curran.

A source close to the fight informed Sherdog.com on Wednesday that the title bout is set to headline Bellator Fighting Championships 39 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney first spoke of the matchup with MMAFighting.com.

Alvarez and Curran were originally slated to meet last October at Bellator 33, but Curran was forced to withdraw after suffering a shoulder injury in training. UFC veteran Roger Huerta replaced Curran and the bout was changed to a non-title affair, which Alvarez won via doctor stoppage between the second and third rounds.

A world-ranked 155-pounder, Alvarez has not been defeated inside the Bellator cage. The Philadelphia native ran through Greg Loughran, Eric Reynolds and Toby Imada in 2009, submitting all three to capture Bellator’s inaugural lightweight title. Since then, the 27-year-old has taken part in two non-title matches for Bellator -- Huerta and Josh Neer, whom Alvarez choked out last May -- and submitted Deep lightweight champion Katsunori Kikuno under the Dream banner. Alvarez has lost just one of his last 12 outings, a December 2008 heel-hooking from Dream ace Shinya Aoki.

Curran, 23, was last seen earning a narrow split decision against Toby Imada in their June 2010 tournament final. The Team Curran fighter reached the final by knocking out touted Georges St. Pierre training partner Mike Ricci and out-pointing Huerta. He also holds victories over former King of the Cage lightweight champ Tony Hervey and Daniel Straus, who is set to take part in Bellator’s upcoming featherweight tournament.

Bellator’s fourth season will air live on MTV2 each Saturday night, beginning March 5 with Bellator 35 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.

Mike Whitman contributed to this report.

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