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.
From Around the Web

Related News

UFC 184's Tony Ferguson and Bellator 134's Liam McGeary stop by Majority Draw Radio, and did someone say Fedor? | MMAWee

  • 29 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC 184's Tony Ferguson and Bellator 134's Liam McGeary stop by Majority Draw Radio, and did someone say Fedor? read news >>

Fabio Maldonado hopes to fight Rampage Jackson at UFC 186 despite Bellator’s lawsuit

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator is trying to stop Quinton Jackson from fighting Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186, but the Brazilian brawler is hoping it fails. Bellator announced on Monday that they have filed a lawsuit in the C read news >>

Details of Rampage Jackson's contract perks emerge from Bellator injunction

  • 22 days ago
  • 52 views

Bellator's injunction attempting to stop Quinton Jackson from competing at UFC 186 has revealed a variety of interesting notes about Rampage's contract perks. Based on some information that became pu read news >>

Joe Warren Plans to Leave Marcos Galvao Face Down in Bellator Title Defense

  • 2 days ago
  • 0 views

Joe Warren intends to leave no doubts when he defends his Bellator title on Friday night. He plans to leave Marcos Galvao face down in the cage. read news >>

LC Davis: ‘Nobody Can Stop Me Right Now’ … Including Hideo Tokoro

  • 21 hours ago
  • 4 views

LC Davis believes there is nobody that can stop him right now, not even Bellator 135 opponent Hideo Tokoro. read news >>

Bellator 134 predictions

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

The Bellator light heavyweight title is up for grabs as champion Emanuel Newton will look to test out his talents against surging contender Liam McGeary. Many other Brits join the card, including Pau read news >>

Charmaine Tweet wants to spoil plans of a fight between Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey

  • 29 days ago
  • 9 views

Charmaine Tweet had her chance to alter the tide of women's MMA in 2011. In Tweet's pro MMA debut, she took on a highly touted rookie fighter named Ronda Rousey in a regional Canadian promotion calle read news >>

Bellator 134 live results and video stream (6:45 p.m. ET)

  • 29 days ago
  • 295 views

Bellator 134 takes place tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and you can join us for live results and a video stream here on MMAjunkie at 6:45 p.m. ET (3:45 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bella read news >>

Bellator 134 results live stream updates

  • 29 days ago
  • 95 views

The Spike TV-televised main card tonight (Sat., Feb. 27, 2015) features Emanuel Newton vs. Liam McGeary, Paul Daley vs. Andre Santos and "King Mo" Lawal moving up to heavyweight to face Cheick Kongo. read news >>