Bellator MMA prides itself on being the toughest tournament is sports and where title shots are earned, not given.
However, BMMA fell short on that promise last month when featherweight champion Daniel Straus was required to defend his newly acquired belt against Pat Curran, the very same man that Straus had taken the title from just four months prior.
The net result of Straus vs. Curran III was that “Paddy Mike” got his belt back, however, and according to BMMA policy, Curran should never have had to opportunity to do so. Instead, the title shot should have gone to Patrício Freire.
“Pitbull” was the season nine BMMA featherweight tournament winner and by right, had earned that which was given to Curran. To say the least Freire wasn’t happy in being passed over for his shot and particularly in favor of a fighter that had just lost.
However, that’s all water under the bridge now, and as of this morning, “Pitbull” has been granted his title shot.
As was made official by Bellator today, Freire will square off against Curran on June 6 at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and in what promises to be an exciting fight.
As promotion’s CEO Bjorn Rebney commented:
"Curran and Pitbull are two of the best featherweights on the planet. Curran's win in their first fight last year makes for a great second title fight. This should be fireworks on June 6th. We always look to kick off our Summer Series strong, and this main event will be a fantastic anchor to what will be an incredible night of fights."
The bout will mark the second meeting between the pair and will stand as Freire’s first opportunity to avenge his split decision, championship title loss, to Curran; Bellator 85, January of 2013.
As “Pitbull” remarked:
“I’ve been wanting this rematch with Curran for a long time, and it’s finally here. I won that first fight, and I should be Bellator Featherweight Champion right now. This time, I’m not going to let it go to the judges. Curran has started to get cocky and he's disrespecting me. He has no idea what I've been through to get to the title. I’m going to put a brake on his tongue on June 6th.”
The Bellator 121 card will kick off the brand’s summer series of fights and as usual will be broadcast on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET, with the preliminary matches being available on Spike.com starting at 7 p.m. ET. The remainder of the card has yet to be assigned.