Pat-Curran-450x260Bellator MMA featherweight champion Pat Curran will defend his title on April 4 in Atlantic City, N.J., against Shahbulat Shamhalaev.

Curran was originally scheduled to face Daniel Straus at Revel Resort and Casino on April 4, but a broken hand forced Straus out of the fight.  Shamhalaev replaces Straus in the title fight.

Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney announced the match-up on Wednesday.

Curran (18-4) won the 2011 Bellator MMA Summer Series Featherweight Tournament, earning a shot at then-titleholder Joe Warren.  He defeated Warren at Bellator 60 in March, 2012, to become the champion.  He defended that title at Bellator 83 against Patricio Freire in January.

Shamhalaev (12-1-1) is on a six-fight winning streak.  He’s gone 3-0 in Bellator MMA, winning all three outings by knockout, including a victory over Rad Martinez at last week’s Bellator 90 to win the Season 7 featherweight tournament and a title shot.

“KO artist vs. KO artist. Don’t blink!” tweeted Rebney about the match-up.

The April 4 event will air live on Spike TV.

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