Pat CurranOver the course of the past couple years, Pat Curran has gone from underdog to Bellator featherweight champion. And through each step of the process in working his way to the top, he has put in the hard work and made the right decisions.

That doesn’t mean things are always easy.

This past January, Curran successfully defended his title against Patricio Freire in a fight that pushed him to his limit.

“He was an extremely tough opponent with a tough jaw and hard to finish,” said Curran of Freire. “It was a little closer than I’d like, but I’m happy to come away with a win and defend my title for the first time.

“Once I started getting my rhythm and timing down, I started finding openings more and finding a home for my jab. I was landing the cleaner shots on him and by the end of the fight his face was more swollen than mine.”

It was perhaps Freire looking the worse for wear that earned Curran a split-decision victory. Although it was a much more difficult fight than he anticipated, Curran is happy that it gave him a good sense of who he is coming into this year.

“I definitely wanted to make a statement and prove to myself that my boxing is definitely on par with an elite level. I definitely wanted to prove that and I think I did,” Curran told MMAWeekly.com.

“It felt great to get five rounds and find out where my cardio and endurance is and push myself to see where I can improve and better myself after that.”

Originally Curran was set to make his second title defense against Daniel Straus at Bellator 95 on April 4 in Atlantic City, NJ, live on Spike TV. Straus, however, suffered an injury, so Curran will face Shahbulat Shamhalaev instead.

“They’re definitely different fighters and I have to go in there with a completely different mindset and gameplan, but I feel like I’m an experienced, well-rounded fighter and little tweaks here and there will make the difference,” said Curran.

“Going into this fight, this is my fourth title fight with Bellator, and I’m very confident with my experience going into this fight. I’ve been through a couple five-round wars and I know what it’s like to fight 25 minutes and prepare for it and not wear myself out.”

Now that he’s risen to the top of Bellator, Curran knows he’s going to have to continue to work just as hard as he did before to stay where he’s at.

“I’ve been in everyone else’s shoes and I know what they’ve been through and what they’re going through and what they want,” he said. “Everybody wants what I have right now.

“I worked really hard to get where I’m at. I put a lot of hours in the gym and a lot of time into things and I’m definitely not going to let go of things easily. You’re going to have to pretty much kill me to take that away from me.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

After playing catchup, Bellator 163's Paul Daley vows to be ahead of Derek Anderson

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

To Bellator welterweight Paul Daley, a loss to ex-champ Douglas Lima is one of those things where it’s best to not think about it too much.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

5 reasons to watch Bellator 163, including a title fight and a few very different kinds of debuts

  • 29 days ago
  • 17 views

Things are about to get real busy in the MMA world. Between now and December 30, Bellator and the UFC, the two major players in the sport, will present 17 total fight cards. The first of those is Fri read news >>

Derek Anderson Says He's Going to 'Smack' Paul Daley Around at Bellator 163 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

For his fight on Friday, Derek Anderson is sure that his 170-pound main card bout against Paul Daley won’t go to decision. read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2318 with Douglas Lima and Jon Anik

  • 29 days ago
  • 5 views

Stream or download Wednesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Douglas Lima and Jon Anik.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Video: Watch today's Bellator 163 weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

You can watch a live stream of today’s official Bellator 163 weigh-ins here on MMAjunkie beginning at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Video: Watch today's Bellator 170 press conference with Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen at 6:15 p.m. ET

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

You can watch a live stream of today’s Bellator 170 press conference with headliners Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen here on MMAjunkie beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET (3:15 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis Weigh-in Video and Results | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis weigh-in video for Thursday's ceremonial event. Watch it live at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. read news >>

Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz Bellator 170 Press Conference, Live at Appox. 6:15p ET | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz square off in a press conference. Watch it live on Thursday at approx. 6:15 pm ET, shortly after the Bellator 163 ceremonial weigh-ins. read news >>

Bellator 163 weigh-in results: Headliners on weight but main-card bout scrapped

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

The fighters have hit the scales for Bellator 163 weigh-ins, and though the headliners were on weight, one main-card bout was scrapped.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Why Daniel Cormier's advice has Bellator 163's Ed Ruth confident for MMA debut

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Three-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and four-time All-American Ed RuthFiled under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>