Pat Curran Excited About Career Prospects at Featherweight and Bellator FC
By Kelsey Mowatt
In just over one year, Pat Curran has exploded onto the national MMA stage to surpass his status as regional prospect and step out of the shadow of his cousin, trainer and accomplished fighter Jeff Curran. Since signing with Bellator Fighting Championships, Curran has scored memorable wins over Mike Ricci, Toby Imada and most importantly former UFC star Roger Huerta, to become one of the promotion’s top commodities. (Pictured: Curran submitting Luis Palomino at Bellator 46)
“Bellator has gotten me that national exposure,” Curran told FCF recently. “Now I’m fighting on MTV 2 and they have a big fan base. Since I’ve been with Bellator a lot more people are able to see me fight and I’m getting recognized more. Bellator has done wonders for me and my career. This is only the beginning. They treat me very well and I’m really happy to be here.”
Curran’s ascension up the Bellator lightweight rankings came to a halt in April, however, as after winning the promotion’s lightweight tournament last year, the Illinois fighter was unable to defeat champion Eddie Alvarez. After the unanimous decision defeat Curran decided that he was going to make a run at Bellator’s featherweight title, and in the opening round of the promotion’s “Summer Series” event last Saturday, he submitted veteran Luis Palomino in the first round.
“This is definitely my home,” said Curran while discussing the drop to 145lbs. “I’ve fought at 145 before but I feel great. I feel strong, healthy, fast, explosive, and I’ve really happy with the way I felt. I was kind of questioning at the start if my weight cut was going to take a toll on my body, but I feel better at 145 then I did at 55.”
Curran’s (14-4) return to featherweight is not only off to a winning start, but the 23 year-old-fighter did so in dramatic fashion by tapping out Palomino with a highlight reel, not often seen, Peruvian Neck Tie.
“I’m really happy I got to showcase my grappling skills,” said Curran. “That’s actually where I’m more comfortable. That’s my go to position. I’m way better on the ground than my stand-up but I’ve been showing more of my stand-up in my last few fights. I’m just ready to show that I’m a well rounded fighter wherever the fight goes.”
Up next, on July 23rd, Curran will square off with British veteran Ronnie Mann (20-2-1), who is coming off a first round KO win over Adam Schindler in the tourney quarterfinals.
“Honestly I haven’t looked at too much of Ronnie’s footage,” Curran said when asked for his thoughts on his next opponent. “I don’t know much about him. I just know that he had a knockout win in his last fight and I know that he trains with Team Tompkins. I’ll sit down with my cousin and my coaches and we’re going to have to come up with a game-plan.”
Of course, the Bellator tournament model means that fighters keep a much busier schedule than many established fighters are accustomed to. After the July 23rd semi-finals, the tournament’s championship final will take place less than one month later on August 20th. Injuries always play a role in any fighter’s career, and even more so when you’re competing monthly.
“It’s very important,” said Curran while discussing the importance of remaining injury free, or at least, minimizing them. “If you make it to the finals you have three fights in three months, so if you get injured in the first round of the tournament you have to go back to training with an injury.”
“I’m one of those fighters who enjoys it though,” Curran added. “I like to fight as much as possible.”
The upcoming July 23rd Bellator 47 card will be hosted by the Casino Rama, in Rama, Ontario.