Though Bellator may not boast the deepest roster there’s no question the organization has a handful of fighters under contract with the ability to compete against the best MMA has to offer. One of Bellator’s supremely skilled scrappers is featherweight champion Pat Curran.
The 25-year old Curran is 18-4 thus far in his career with more than a few impressive wins under his belt, not to mention some solid success at 155 pounds including a victory over Roger Huerta. Though he’ll have his hands full next Thursday night with Shahbulat Shamhalaev in the main event of Bellator 95, Curran will definitely be the favorite as he’ll likely be in most match-ups for some time given his current ability and potential for growth.
That being said, fans will never know exactly how good Curran is until he sees action against Top 5 talent. Here’s a look at how Curran might fare against five of the UFC’s top 145ers…
Curran has some of the same characteristics as Edgar – he’s scrappy, he’s a good boxer, and he’s got above-average grappling. He’s also got a solid chin and, like Edgar, hasn’t been knocked out yet in his career. However, he’s younger and a little less battle-worn. The bout would definitely be close but one Curran could certainly edge out on the scorecards.
The Team Alpha Male staple’s wrestling would be a tough test for Curran as it is for all of his opponents. If stuffed, the door would certainly open up to step through and out-strike the haymaker-throwing Mendes. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and Mendes can’t be discounted when it comes to grinding his way to a decision win.
Swanson has looked sharp as of late, though he’s also faced opponents who haven’t looked great in subsequent showings either. Curran’s wrestling would likely make the difference in this tilt and either set him up for a submission or decision victory.
Chan Sung Jung:
Jung is similar to Swanson in the sense his recent success has involved beating guys on a downswing. However, he’s beloved by fans because he’s “The Korean Zombie”, fighting like the only way to put him down is a crossbow bolt through the brain. Though the recipe for a Fight of the Night effort is certainly there with Curran involved, one for Jung’s triumph isn’t anywhere close to a lock. Curran’s hands are better, as is his chin, and his ability to stop takedowns and throw strikes seem tailor made to take Jung out.
Lamas is, as Joe Rogan would say, “a scary dude”. He’s taken out a few top contenders and done so in fairly violent fashion. Of course, he’s also been knocked out twice in his career and not necessarily by superior strikers. If Curran could land a big punch or two, the win would be his for the taking. If not, chalk one up for Lamas.
Simply put, Aldo is the best featherweight in the business and Curran’s chances of beating him are akin to Justin Bieber winning a UFC championship (including the belt Ronda Rousey currently wears). It would be a great fight to be sure, but the Brazilian is too good and not likely to fall barring an unlikely exhaustion issue or “lucky punch”.
PHOTO CREDIT: BELLATOR