HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (May 21, 2010) – South Florida native and MMA rising star Pat Curran will return to fight in his home state for the first time next month since two upset victories in Bellator Fighting Championships’ Season 2 Lightweight Tournament catapulted him into the tournament’s championship round and national MMA stardom.
Curran, who grew up in Delray Beach and Boca Raton, will face off with MMA veteran and 2009 “Sumbission of the Year” title-holder Toby Imada during the Main Event fight when Bellator returns for the fourth time to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., on June 10th. The winner will take home Bellator’s Season 2 155-lbs. Tournament title and will become the No.1 contender to reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez.
The much-anticipated Curran-Imada fight is just part of the eight-fight Bellator 21 card, which will also be televised LIVE on FOX Sports Net and during special taped highlight shows on NBC and Telemundo. Tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets and at Ticketmaster.com.
“We can’t wait to return to South Florida and bring our Lightweight Tournament Championship fight with us,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebeney. “I am especially happy that Pat Curran will have a chance to fight in front of his hometown crowd. He has gone on a tremendous run in our Lightweight Tournament and has made a substantial name for himself in the world of MMA. His fight against Toby Imada, a crafty MMA veteran, is going to be a great fight to watch and a great Main Event at the Hard Rock.”
Curran, who now lives and trains outside of Chicago , was standout wrestler for Olympic Heights Community High School, finishing fourth at the state finals during his senior year. After graduating, he studied for and received his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification in South Florida before being convinced by his older cousin, MMA legend Jeff “Big Frog” Curran, to move to Illinois to begin a career in MMA.
He took his first pro fight in February of 2008 and quickly compiled an impressive record of 9-3.
He made his Bellator debut in impressive and dramatic fashion on April 15th in Chicago with a first-round KO of Georges Saint-Pierre training partner Mike Ricci. Curran then followed that up with one of the biggest upsets of the year in all of MMA, a unanimous decision win over superstar Roger Huerta in Bellator’s Lightweight Tournament semifinal round Boston.
The wins have helped turn Curran into an overnight star.
Imada (25-12) is perhaps best known for the remarkable inverted triangle choke submission that he used to dispatch the heavily favored Jorge Masvidal during the semifinals of Bellator’s Season 1 Lightweight Tournament. The submission has now been viewed more than 700,000 times on YouTube and won Imada “Submission of the Year” honors from nearly every MMA media outlet. But the submission has also served to overshadow the magnitude of an impressive three-year run that has seen Imada win 11 of his last 12 pro fights including a Bellator quarterfinal submission of WEC veteran James Krause and a semifinal submission of up-and-comer Carey Vanier.
Details on the other seven fights will be released in the coming weeks.