CHICAGO, Ill. (June 22, 2012) — After capturing the Bellator Featherweight Championship with one of the most devastating knockouts in Bellator history, Pat Curran is set for his first title defense when he takes on top world ranked Patricio Pitbull at Bellator 73 on August 24th from Harrah’s Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. The night will be full of action packed fights including the Finals of the Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament, a Bantamweight Tournament Finals clash between Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira and a host of soon to be announced fights.
The event will take place LIVE on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX with the preliminary fights being streamed online at Spike.com. Tickets range from $25-$100 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 beginning on Friday, June 29.
As the largest casino resort between Atlantic City and Las Vegas, Harrah’s Tunica offers a state of the art, 2,300 seat event center perfect for live MMA action. Along with 140,000 square feet of casino entertainment, the resort is also home to Willows Sporting Clays & Hunting Center.
“Harrah’s Tunica was a fantastic venue partner for us when we made our first visit last year, and I expect another energized sold out crowd on August 24,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Pat Curran and Patricio Pitbull is a World title fight between two of the best featherweights on earth. Both can finish any fight with relentless strikes or vicious submissions. This will be an epic title fight to remember for years to come.”
Widely regarded as one of the top featherweights in the world, Curran’s road to the title was an impressive one. After an incredible Peruvian necktie submission victory over Luis Palomino in the Bellator Season 5 quarterfinals, Curran collected a unanimous decision win over Ronnie Mann. With the victory, Curran secured a spot in the Featherweight Finals against Marlon Sandro. Curran pushed the pace early, and in the second round delivered a devastating, highlight-reel roundhouse kick to the head of Sandro that earned the Crystal Lake, Ill. product his eventual title shot against Warren at Bellator 60. After two back and fourth rounds, Curran delivered a barrage of strikes that ended the fight in the third round and earned Curran the Bellator Featherweight Title.
“This fight with Patricio is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Curran said. “This will be my first title defense, and I just want to get back in the cage and keep developing as a fighter. Pitbull is an outstanding fighter, so this should be a great fight.”
For Pitbull, the explosive Brazilian has been away from the cage for over a year after suffering a broken hand that kept the 17-1 striker out of action. After collecting his title shot with a dominating run through the Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament, to say Pitbull is eager to get back in the cage would be an understatement.
“I’m very happy and relieved this fight is finally happening,” said Pitbull. “I’ve been through a lot with my hand injury and can’t wait to get back in the cage. I’m 100 percent now and all I want is to fulfill my dream of getting the belt and pay tribute to my late teacher Bruno Gouvea. He’s the reason I’m here today and he’ll be with me in spirit cageside watching his work pay off. All is can say is Pat better be ready. I’ve never been so motivated for a fight, and I’ve never wanted the belt so much.”
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator