Pat Curran

Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus title fight headlines Bellator 95 on April 4

Pat Curran and Daniel Straus. Image courtesy of Bellator MMA.

Newport Beach, CA. – After nearly five years in the making, Bellator MMA made its long awaited debut on Spike TV in January as  Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran opened the night with a dominant win over star Brazilian striker Patricio Pitbull, reaching over 1.2 million viewers in the process. On April 4th, Bellator will close out its eighth season from Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, NJ as Curran once again puts his Bellator Featherweight Title on the line against relentless Daniel Straus live on Spike TV. The night will also feature the return of Tiger Schulmann products Lyman Good and Munah Holland, as well as the Bellator debut of New Jersey fan favorite Tom DeBlass.

Widely regarded as one of the top two  featherweights in the world, Curran brings a dominating 18-4 record into his latest title defense, including victories over Marlon Sandro, Roger Huerta, Mike Ricci, and Straus himself, as Curran collected a knock out win over Straus early in both of their careers. Even with the victory over Straus in his back pocket, Curran is well aware both fighters have grown tremendously over the last four years.

“This may end up being the most challenging fight I’ve faced up this point,” Curran said. “Daniel is going to make for a very tough challenge, but I know what I’m capable of. I feel like I’m always growing as a fighter, and the sky is really the limit for me. I’ve got the belt, and I’m not letting anyone take it away from me.”

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The Daily Recap: Sonnen to Face Forrest at 205 lbs, Curran Suffers Orbital Fracture & More (Updated)

Chael Sonnen. Photo by Esther Lin/MMA Fighting.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

Two-time UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen made a bombshell announcement on tonight's episode of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV, revealing that he'll be making an expected move up to the light heavyweight division and will face former champ Forrest Griffin at the UFC's year-end show on December 29.

In talking about the matchup, Sonnen praised Griffin for his achievements inside the cage and stated that he felt that he was underlooked. He also went on about current champion Jon Jones and the fact that he would be able to steal his title like "halloween candy". (Update - Video of Sonnen's announcement is after the jump.)

Sonnen and Griffin met once before at IFC's talent-stacked light heavyweight tournament at their "Global Domination" event in September 2003. Griffin submitted Sonnen with a triangle choke in the quarterfinals of an eight-man tournament that night. Not much of a surprise there.

The bout will be Sonnen's first at 205 lbs since he fell to Renato "Babalu" Sobral all the way back at UFC 55 almost seven years ago. Griffin is coming off of a unanimous decision over Tito Ortiz last month in a rubber match between the two.

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“Pitbull” Injured, Curran to Face Warren for Bellator Featherweight Belt

Joe Warren. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.

CHICAGO, Ill.  — After a tournament run that included dominating victories over a trio of top competitors, Bellator Summer Series Featherweight Tournament Winner Pat Curran rightly earned his title shot and will take on reigning Featherweight Champion and self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on The Planet” Joe Warren early in 2012..

Originally, Patricio Pitbull was scheduled to face Joe Warren, as the explosive Brazilian secured his title shot with a Season 4 Featherweight Tournament win. But Pitbull suffered a hand injury, and just recently elected for surgery that will keep him out of the gym for 3 months. With the delay, Curran’s title shot has been moved up. Once healed, Pitbull will face the winner of the Curran-Warren Championship fight.

“The timing worked out here,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “To be able to temporarily lose a fighter such as Patricio Pitbull and then to be able to plug in another deserving title contender, Tournament winner and top five Featherweight in Pat Curran is a testament to the depth of our featherweight division.”

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Video: Curran’s Head Kick KO of Sandro

Courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships, here's Pat Curran's highlight-reel finish of former King of Pancrase title holder Marlon Sandro, which netted Currran the Bellator Summer Series featherweight tournament crown and a shot at reigning champion Joe Warren in the near future.

Curran KO’s Sandro, Wins FW Tourney

Pat Curran knocked out Marlon Sandro with a devastating high kick, handing the Brazilian his first ever stoppage loss and winning Bellator's Summer Series featherweight tournament on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.

Uncasville, Conn. — In front of a raucous crowd inside the Mohegan Sun Arena, Pat Curran (fighting out of Crystal Lake, Ill.) delivered a crushing knockout to Marlon Sandro to claim the Bellator Summer Series Featherweight Tournament Championship live on MTV2.

This is the second tournament win for Curran, who previously won the Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament. Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad was also victorious, earning a victory over Paul Buentello in a non-title super fight.

In the night’s main event, Bellator veteran Pat Curran was up against imposing Brazilian Marlon Sandro. Both fighters were hungry for victory, as the winner would earn a guaranteed title shot for the Bellator Featherweight World Championship. Sandro came out looking to push the pace, and seemed to control Round 1.

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Rock the Vote: Curran or Sandro?

Who do you have in tonight's Bellator Summer Series featherweight tournament final? Former lightweight title challenger Pat Curran or one-time King of Pancrase and Sengoku standout Marlon Sandro?

Miletich Stops Denny in Return Bout at Adrenaline MMA II

Pat Miletich. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

Former UFC welterweight champion and Miletich Fighting Systems founder Pat Miletich was victorious in his first bout in over two years last night in Moline, Illinois as the MMA pioneer scored a first-round TKO of journeyman Thomas Denny in the main event of Monte Cox’s second Adrenaline MMA show.

During an early exchange, Miletich tagged Denny with a looping left hook that stunned him and then scored an easy takedown. Miletich spent the majority of the first round controlling Denny on the mat. Denny was able to get back to his feet on one occasion, but Miletich was quick to push him back down to the canvas.

The fight stayed standing in the second round, where Miletich blasted Denny with two consecutive right hands that sent the King of the Cage veteran crumbling to the ground. Miletich (29-7-2) pounced on Denny (26-18) and delivered a few more unanswered punches before referee Michael Reid stepped in to save Denny.

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Miletich’s Return Headlines Adrenaline MMA’s Latest Venture Tonight

Pat Miletich. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

Former UFC welterweight champion and longtime mixed martial arts trainer Pat Miletich will return to action after a two-year layoff to headline Monte Cox’s second Adrenaline MMA event tonight at the I-Wireless Center in Moline, Illinois against journeyman veteran Thomas Denny.

The event will be broadcast live on HDNet starting at 10 PM ET.

Miletich returned from a four-year retirement to take on Renzo Gracie at an International Fight League event in September 2006 but was submitted by Gracie in the first round. Miletich, who successfully defended his UFC welterweight belt four times, was forced to retire from active competition in 2002 due to lingering problems with his neck. Denny last competed at EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” event on July 26, losing via second-round TKO to Nick Diaz.

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Hosman, Curran Victorious at XFO 25

Jeff (left) and Patt Curran. Photo courtesy of XFO.

Despite main eventer Bart Palaszewski being scratched from the card after opponent Eric Wisely failed pre-fight blood tests, Xtreme Fighting Organization’s latest offering went on without much of a hitch Saturday night at the Sideouts Bar And Eatery in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

XFO bantamweight champion John Hosman successfully defend his title against Shawn Tompkins-trained James Haourt in the night’s new main attraction. After controlling Haourt on the ground throughout the first three minutes or so of the fight, Hosman stunned Haourt with a trio of elbows, allowing him to sink in a fight-ending rear naked choke that ultimately put Haourt to sleep.

Pat Curran, the cousin of former WEC featherweight title challenger and XFO promoter Jeff Curran, escaped with a razor-close split decision win over Amir Khillah, a student of former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes. Curran nearly ended the bout with a first-round armbar, but time expired before he could force the tap. Curran spent the rest of the time fending off Khillah’s impressive wrestling, likely earning himself the win with a timely takedown at the end of round three.

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Bart Palaszewski Returns at XFO 25

Bart Palaszewski. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

International Fight League veteran Bart Palaszewski will return to action tonight as he headlines XFO’s latest offering in Island Lake and faces lightweight prospect Eric Wisely.

Along with many of other his fellow employees, Palaszewski was released from his IFL contract last month, paving the way for him to become a free agent. He has struggled as of late. A promising start in the IFL eventually led to a three-fight losing steak, which Palaszewski snapped with a win over UFC veteran Jeff Cox at Adrenaline’s inaugural show in June.

Wisely has won two out of his first three professional bouts. He most recently dispatched of Luke Gwaltney via a third-round TKO due to a cut at a recent Mainstream MMA show. Other featured bouts include Pat Curran, the cousin of former WEC featherweight title challenger Jeff Curran, going up against Matt Hughes-trained Amir Khillah as well a XFO bantamweight championship bout between Josh Hosman and James Haourt.

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