shahbulat-shamhalaev-1.jpgRussian fighters often get painted as nearly emotionless – fighters with scowls and cold stares and ice in their veins and, well … as Ivan Drago replicas, at least in terms of their dispositions.

If Shahbulat Shamhalaev is not like that, he’s not giving many indications of it ahead of his Bellator featherweight title fight. OK – maybe he gives one indication that he’s no robot.

Shamhalaev (12-1-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC) on Thursday meets Pat Curran (18-4 MMA, 8-1 BFC) for Curran’s 145-pound title, and he has every indication of leaving with the belt – in a cold and calculated manner. No emotions – just going to work.

“My advantages over Pat Curran in the cage are my powerful punches,” Shamhalaev told ( “I am very quick – and also better looking, too.”

See? Not all cold, all the time. Maybe even funny.

But when it comes to Thursday’s fight, Shamhalaev’s plan becomes much more precise, and probably doesn’t end with a smile on his face while he’s thinking about what he wants to do.

“I really don’t see this fight with Pat Curran going to the judges’ decision,” he said. “I doubt that will happen. Expect a finish. Because with my striking power, if I land on him, he is going down.”

Shamhalaev won a delayed Season 7 featherweight tournament in February when he knocked out Rad Martinez in the finals. And though Daniel Strauss was ahead of him in line for a shot at Curran, an injury forced him out.

So instead, Shamhalaev brings his six straight wins, five straight knockouts and 11-fight unbeaten streak to Curran, who defended his belt for the first time with a split-decision win over Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in January.

For Shamhalaev, Curran will be his biggest test by far. But he’s not prepared to say if that will remain the case after the fight.

“This fight with Pat Curran is the biggest fight of my life because it’s a title fight,” he said. “As far as Curran specifically, it’s hard to say right now if he is the biggest challenge for me, because I have not fought the guy yet. He may be better or worse than my previous opponents. It’s just another fight.”

But it’s just another fight that could put Shamhalaev on the MMA map, and do it in a big way.

Curran currently is the No. 4-ranked featherweight in the world in’s latest rankings.

So Shamhalaev already is mentally prepared for how big it could prove to be for him. And he doesn’t hold any particular fear of the champ.

“Pat Curran holds the championship belt,” he said. “That’s what is unique about him. I will let you know if there is anything else unique about him after this fight, but right now that’s it. I don’t need to make any big statements in this fight with Pat Curran. I want the belt and I will earn it. I am ready to take the belt and then defend it against anyone else who wants it.”

Bellator 95 takes place Thursday at Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. The main card, including Hawn-Parisyan, airs on Spike TV (10 p.m. ET) following prelims on (8 p.m. ET).

For the latest on Bellator 95, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 145's Justin Lawrence: It 'took a couple days' to get over Pat Curran injury

  • 28 days ago

Justin Lawrence admits he was devastated when he lost out on the biggest fight of his career at Bellator 145. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator Plans Aggressive Global Expansion in 2016

  • 10 days ago

Bellator MMA is set to take its cage outside North America for the first time with an aggressive global expansion plan for 2016. read news >>

Bellator Announces First International Event, Heading to Italy

  • 20 hours ago

Not even a month after announcing plans to host multiple international events in 2016, Bellator has announced a date and location for its first foray across the pond. read news >>

Bellator 145's Will Brooks doesn’t feel 'much of a threat by anybody' in Bellator

  • 26 days ago

Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks is comfortable with his position in the sport and he doesn’t foresee it changing anytime soon. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Featherweight champ Patricio 'Pitbull': Bellator needs more fighters to challenge for my belt

  • 27 days ago

Patricio Freire wants Bellator to sign some fresh blood to the featherweight division that can present an immediate threat to his title reign.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Video: Part 1 of 'Road To Bellator 145: With A Vengeance,' featuring 'Pitbull,' Straus

  • 27 days ago

Did you miss the debut of Part 1 of “Road To Bellator 145: With A Vengeance,” or just want to watch it again? Check out the full first episode. Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Former Bellator Champ Michael Chandler Will Do Whatever it Takes to Get Belt Back

  • 27 days ago

Former Bellator champ Michael Chandler has finally turned things around, and he doesn't plan on stopping before he gets the belt back. read news >>

Marcin Held scoffs at Will Brooks' 'one-dimensional' label ahead of Bellator title fight

  • 28 days ago

Marcin Held has no interest in engaging in a war of words with Will Brooks ahead of their Bellator lightweight championship showdown at Bellator 145 on Nov. 6. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 146 gets Houston Alexander vs. Guilherme Viana and five more prelims

  • 28 days ago

The lineup for Bellator 146 is complete with the addition of one main card bout and five preliminary contests.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Kimbo Slice headlines Feb. 19 Bellator event, Lashley or Thompson potential opponent

  • 28 days ago

Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is expected to return to the cage Feb. 19 in a Bellator headliner in Houston against an opponent to be determined.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>