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 MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “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 MMAjunkie.com’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 Spike.com (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 166's Chris Honeycutt Plans To Be Champion By End of 2017 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago
  • 6 views

Chris Honeycutt looks to pick up his third win in a row when he takes on Ben Reiter at Bellator 166 on Friday. read news >>

Justin Lawrence Plans to 'Take John Teixeira's Head Off' at Bellator 167 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 10 days ago
  • 4 views

Justin Lawrence steps in on late notice for his return at Bellator 167 on Saturday to take on John Teixeira in a main card 145-pound bout. read news >>

Carrington Banks Plans to 'Put Offense on Jake Roberts' at Bellator 165 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 21 days ago
  • 6 views

Unbeaten lightweight Carrington Banks takes on fellow undefeated fighter Jake Roberts at Bellator 165 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 99 results: Ex-Bellator champ Alexander Volkov edges Timothy Johnson

  • 20 days ago
  • 4 views

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – It was far from easy, but former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov made a victorious UFC debut.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 99 results: Ex-Bellator champ Alexander Volkov edges Timothy Johnson

  • 20 days ago
  • 3 views

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – It was far from easy, but former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov made a victorious UFC debut.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Fedor Signs Mult-Fight Deal with Bellator | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 21 views

Bellator on Saturday announced its latest free agent signing, and it was a big one: Fedor Emelianenko. His first fight is already inked. read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko headlines Bellator 172 vs. Matt Mitrione in San Jose in February

  • 20 days ago
  • 26 views

After years of wondering if he’d wind up there, heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko is headed to Bellator. Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>

Bellator 165 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Chandler vs. Henderson Card

  • 20 days ago
  • 25 views

Bellator returned to San Jose, California, for its final card of November with Michael Chandler defeating Benson Henderson by split decision to retain the lightweight championship in a thrilling main read news >>

Michael Chandler Outlasts Benson Henderson, Retains Title at Bellator 165 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 196 views

Lightweight champion Michael Chandler rebuffed Benson Henderson’s second attempt at a Bellator belt on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. read news >>

Bellator 165 results: Michael Chandler edges Benson Henderson to retain lightweight title

  • 20 days ago
  • 106 views

Bellator 165 takes place today, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results beginning at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos read news >>