Bellator Featherweight Title
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It is going to be an exciting night of fighting at Bellator 95, an event that will be capped off with the much anticipated fight between MVC's sponsorship fighter, Shahbulat "Assassin" Shamhalaev (12-1, 3-0 Bellator), and Pat Curran (18-4, 8-1 Bellator) for the Featherweight Title. The event is taking place in Atlantic City, NJ at Revel Casino and will be airing live tonight, April 4, 2013 on Spike TV starting at 10pm ET/9pm CT.
Shamhalaev came over from the World Martial Arts Championships, immediately being placed in the Bellator Season 7 Tournament, dominating the competition along the way. In his quarterfinal fight, Shamhalaev dismantled Cody Bollinger with a TKO at 4:49 of the very first round. He then made even lighter work of Mitch Richman, who will be fighting on this card in the Bellator Season 8 Featherweight Tournament Final, stopping him at 1:45 in their semifinal bout. In the tournament final, Shamhalaev overcame a tough first round by knocking out Red Martinez at 2:12 of the second round, earning his shot to face Pat Curran for the title.
For Curran, this will be his second title defense. Curran's only loss in Bellator came at the hands of Eddie Alvarez, two years and two days ago, on April 2nd, 2011 at lightweight. Since dropping back down to featherweight, Curran is on a five fight win streak that started with a first round submission victory over Luis Palomino at Bellator Fighting Championships 2011 Summer Series quarterfinals. Curran defeated Ronnie Mann in the semifinals before knocking out veteran, Marlon Sandro, in the tournament finals. Curran faced Joe Warren for the featherweight title, his only fight of 2012, knocking him out in devastating fashion, claiming the title, eventually earning knockout of the year. Then in January, Curran defended the title in a close fight with Patricio Freire, fending off the Brazilian, coming up with a split decision victory, keeping the belt around his waist for now.
There is no question both men, Shamhalaev and Curran, have a great chance of winning this fight. This has all the makings for a classic between two men who are going to leave it all in the cage. However, it might very well be the Russian, Shamhalaev, who has the ability to dethrone Curran. Shamhalaev is one of those guys that when his fist hits your chin, no matter how tough you are, your face is hitting the canvas. He has shown that in his first three fights in Bellator with 3 TKO/KO stoppages. Tonight on 4/4, the "Assassin" could live up to his nickname once again with a 4th and most meaningful TKO/KO in Bellator to date.