has suffered a training injury and will be unable to
defend his title against Patricio
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the news to
ESPN.com on Tuesday evening.
According to the report, Curran sustained a fractured orbital bone
during a sparring session at his gym Tuesday morning. It is
currently unknown if Freire will remain on the card.
Bellator 73 takes place Aug. 24 at Harrah’s Tunica Hotel and Casino
in Tunica Resorts, Miss. The show’s main card airs on MTV2 and will
showcase the Season 6 bantamweight tournament final between
Galvao and Luis
Alberto Nogueira, as well as the Summer Series light
heavyweight final pitting Attila Vegh
Curran, 24, captured the Bellator featherweight title after winning
the promotion’s 2011 Summer Series tournament, knocking out
ex-Sengoku champ Marlon
Sandro to earn a crack at Joe Warren’s
gold this past March. Curran battered the smaller Warren in their
Bellator 60 encounter, wresting the title from the self-proclaimed
baddest man on the planet via brutal third-round knockout. Curran
previously competed successfully at 155 pounds, winning the Season
2 lightweight tourney before stumbling against then-champ Eddie
Alvarez last year at Bellator 39.
The younger of the “Pitbull” brothers, 25-year-old Freire earned
his shot at the belt before Curran, but was unable to challenge
Warren due to injury. Freire won the Season 4 featherweight
tournament last year, stopping Georgi
Karakhanyan and Wilson Reis
before outpointing Daniel
Straus in the final at Bellator 45. Known for his finishing
ability, Freire has lost just once in 18 pro outings, falling to
Warren in the Season 2 tournament final just over two years ago.
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