Shahbulat Shamhalaev plans to stop champ Pat Curran at Bellator 95


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

  • 29 days ago
  • 175 views

When it came to light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton, Bellator MMA got a big, big scare on Friday night.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 42 views

Bellator 130 saw LHW champ Emanuel Newton retain his title against Linton Vassell, LW tournament winner Dave Jansen decision Rick Hawn and Bobby Lashley and Marloes Coenen pick up wins. The four figh read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 24 views

Former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko suffered another disappointing defeat this week. After suffering back-to-back losses for the first time since 2006, Alexander Shlemenko added read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

The new boss of Viacom's Bellator MMA promotion has a simple plan for 2015: "put on fights that fans want to see, fights that grab television ratings, fights that put butts in seats and fights that t read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Former Bellator champ Lyman Good ready, excited to face undefeated Jonavin Webb for CFFC welterweight championship. read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 10 views

If you get punched in the head for a living, chances are you're going to suffer some degree of brain damage. But to what degree is difficult to measure. As is the timeline in which potential effects read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

Veteran fighter Lyman Good knows what it’s like to be undefeated. He also knows what it’s like to lose that unblemished record, a feeling he intends on handing Jonavin Webb on Saturday at CFFC 43.Fil read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 29 views

Four fighters who competed at Bellator 127 on Oct. 3, in Temecula, Calif., failed post-fight drug tests. read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

If it's not injuries, it's drug tests. Getting popped for poison pee-pee in mixed martial arts (MMA) is not exclusive to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as Bellator MMA was recently put on blas read news >>

Jump to: