With Daniel Straus (21-4 MMA, 7-1 BFC) sidelined by a broken hand, his title fight with Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran (18-4 MMA, 8-1 BFC) will instead go to recent tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev (12-1-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC).
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney today announced the change.
The title fight headlines Bellator 95, which takes place April 4 at Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. It's part of the Spike TV-televised main card, which follows prelims on Spike.com.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first passed along news of Straus' injury earlier this week.
Shamhalaev, a Russian knockout artist, breezed through a recent Season 7 tournament by stopping Cody Bollinger, Mike Richman and – after a few delays – Rad Martinez. That earned him a title shot, though initially he was slated to get his after Straus got his.
Since his pro MMA debut in 2009, the former world muay Thai champ and national kickboxing champion has posted eight knockouts in 12 career wins.
He'll fight just 42 days after his second-round TKO of Martinez, which took place this past week at Bellator 90. It initially was slated for December but was pushed after Shamhalaev became ill on fight night and due to subsequent scheduling conflicts.
Curran, meanwhile, is coming off a split-decision win over Patricio "Pitbull" Freire at Bellator 85 this past month. He won the featherweight title 11 months ago with a brutal knockout of then-champ Joe Warren. That came after winning a featherweight tournament with wins over Luis Palomino, Ronnie Mann and Marlon Sandro.
Curran's drop to 145 came after a solid run through Bellator's lightweight tournament, which he also won to get a shot at then-champ Eddie Alvarez in April 2011. He lost that fight by unanimous decision.
- Location: Sweden
Join date: 2011-11-12
Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum