Unheralded heading into the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 2 lightweight tournament, 23-year-old Pat Curran ran the gauntlet, besting three favored opponents to earn a shot at current lightweight king Eddie Alvarez.

First, Curran (Pictured) took out Georges St. Pierre protégé Mike Ricci, knocking out the French-Canadian with a swift right hook one year ago. “Paddy Mike” followed that stunning debut with two more winning performances, outpointing both UFC veteran Roger Huerta and judo ace Toby Imada to capture the tournament crown.

On the cusp of his title shot against Alvarez, however, Curran was cut down with a shoulder injury that required surgery. While some might feel bitter about missing out on a title shot, Curran believes the perceived setback in 2010 might have actually been a gift for 2011.

“My shoulder injury took about a month to fully heal, and thank God it did. The injury was almost a blessing in disguise,” Curran said during a pre-fight conference call. “It gave me more time to prepare for Eddie and work on my game, so I’m actually glad that it happened so I could give my body enough time to rest and heal.”

Once again healthy, Curran will finally get his shot at Alvarez and the title on Saturday at the Mohengan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The pair will headline Bellator 39, which also features one of the Season 4 lightweight semifinal bouts.

“It’s an honor to fight Eddie for the lightweight title. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Curran. “It's in my thoughts all day long and in my dreams. So I’m very excited and anxious about this.”

Though most have made Alvarez the heavy betting favorite heading into the title bout, the No. 1 contender claims he is unfazed by his underdog status -- and for good reason. Curran has done all of his Bellator damage thus far with most picking against him or, worse, not even recognizing him. According to him, that will all change after his fight with Alvarez.

“[Being the underdog] doesn’t bother me,” Curran said. “But after this fight, people are definitely going to know who I am. It’s going to change how they think about me.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dave Rickels ‘Super-Confident’ Heading into Bellator 159 Co-Main Event Against Melvin Guillard

  • 4 days ago
  • 10 views

Dave Rickels will look to pick up his second straight victory when he takes on Melvin Guillard in the Bellator 159 co-main event in Mulvane, Kansas, on July 22. read news >>

Bellator 161 Features Cheick Kongo vs. Tony Johnson in Heavyweight Headliner

  • 2 days ago
  • 10 views

Bellator MMA is heading back to the “Lone Star State,” where a heavyweight bout pitting Cheick Kongo against Tony Johnson will serve as the main event. read news >>

Injury to Linton Vassell Causes Bellator 158 Main Card Shift

  • 21 days ago
  • 11 views

An injury to Linton Vassell has derailed his summer plans of competing in front of his fellow Englishmen against Francis Carmont at Bellator 158: London. read news >>

Roy Nelson: ‘Derrick Lewis is the Black Fedor’ (Full Scrum Video)

  • 20 days ago
  • 10 views

Heading into his UFC Fight Night 90 "black panty night" co-main event, Roy Nelson calls his opponent, knockout artist Derrick Lewis, the Black Fedor. read news >>

Cain Velasquez Talks Training Differently to Avoid Injury (UFC 200 Video)

  • 20 days ago
  • 5 views

Cain Velasquez fields questions from the press before his upcoming UFC 200 fight against Travis Browne at Wednesday's pre-fight press conference. read news >>

Demetrious Johnson Withdraws from Fight with Wilson Reis at UFC 201 with Injury

  • 18 days ago
  • 10 views

Demetrious Johnson has reportedly been forced to withdraw from his title fight against Wilson Reis at UFC 201 due to an injury, according to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. The two were scheduled to co read news >>

Injury Removes Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis from UFC 201

  • 18 days ago
  • 10 views

An undisclosed injury to Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson has forced his next title defense off of the UFC 201 fight card. read news >>

UFC 200 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC Fight Night 91

  • 15 days ago
  • 16 views

UFC 200 is in the books. The results are as follows, per Bleacher Report's own Craig Amos: UFC 200 Main Card Amanda Nunes def. Miesha Tate, submission (Round 1, 3:16) Brock Lesnar def. Mark Hunt, una read news >>

James Gallagher Predicts a Finish of Mike Cutting at Bellator 158

  • 13 days ago
  • 6 views

James Gallagher predicts that he'll finish Mike Cutting in their Bellator MMA 158 featherweight bout on July 16 at O2 Arena in London. read news >>

Michael Page Looking To ‘Leave a Mark’ at Bellator 158 in London

  • 13 days ago
  • 27 views

Undefeated Bellator MMA welterweight contender Michael "Venom" Page puts his unbeaten streak on the line at Bellator 158 against Evangelista Santos in London. read news >>