Bellator

Pat Curran admits to being caught off guard by Patricio “Pitbull” Freire’s game plan

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Jason Nawara/Fight Hub

Following his loss to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Pat Curran wasn’t as devastated as you would expect from losing a title fight. He knew that he made mistakes throughout the fight and expressed his frustrations.

“I should have pushed the pace more. When I had him on the fence, I should have taken advantage of that more. A couple of times, I had him against the fence and just moved away to reset. That allowed him a chance to recover. Mistakes like that can ruin your chances to win.”

Curran’s corner was yelling repeatedly for him to go for a takedown. Despite having success in the first fight, he was unable to put Pitbull on his back. Eventually in the later rounds, he relied on his striking far more than his wrestling.

“I tried a couple of times, but he shrugged me off. His knees and kicks are powerful, so I didn’t want to run right into it. It was more of me being cautious. He stuffed my takedowns pretty easily. I wasn’t able to capitalize or take control of the fight like I’m normally able to do.”

Curran was dropped on one occasion through four out of the last five rounds. It was alarming to see him dropped in consecutive rounds, yet still manage to stand in the pocket and trade punches. His conditioning and awareness is what propelled him to survive.

“Pitbull has heavy hands. I’ve never been rocked that many times in a fight. My biggest thing is not being on my back or simply on the floor when being rocked. You got to get up to your feet and have to circle away immediately. It was more of a natural reaction. The only thing I’ve been rocked was against Daniel Straus. I’m in really good shape so it helped me to get by being rocked.”

Bellator has now had three new featherweight champions in a span of less than year. The division is starting to gain publicity in being one of their stronger divisions. Curran agrees with that theory.

“We got a lot of upcoming talent coming up, but it still remains us three (Daniel Straus included) matching up against one another. It’s nice to see that our division is getting recognized. I want my belt back and would immediately accept a rematch if offered one.”

In their first fight, Pitbull seemed to slow down in the final two rounds. His cardio looked to be substantially better throughout the fight. He was still shifting and circling around in the latter rounds without showing any sign of fatigue.

“Pitbull was definitely ready for five rounds. The different strategy he had was that he kept moving around when firing punches. He was using better angles by circling around a lot to avoid my punches. He wasn’t wasting too much energy like in the first fight. He kept looking for openings and it was a smart game plan on his part.”

Curran admitted to being surprised by Pitbull’s more condensed approach. We’re used to seeing an explosive striker, who charges in without regret. It was clear that he made the proper changes to not get caught by Curran’s prolific jab.

“His cautiousness and patience stood out. I felt like I was chasing a lot and couldn’t land much of my combos. He did a great job of moving and eluding me. My rhythm was off from that. Pitbull is usually very aggressive, but he was more defensive and caught me off guard. “

As the fight started to slip away, Curran’s corner started to shout for more takedowns. It was heard evidently throughout cage-side. They knew that Pitbull was too much to handle on the feet.

“My corner let me know that I was down. They said to look for a takedown to try to get the finish. I knew I had to give it everything. He just fought smart and was a lot stronger than I thought. His chin was solid and his boxing was really heavy handed. No doubt, he was clearly the better fighter.”

Despite being picked apart, Curran is confident that he’ll back in the cage soon enough. He’s also committed to training with Team Takedown on a consistent basis.

“I’ll definitely come back soon. I hate losing, so I’ll want to get back in there soon. I’ll have to watch the fight again and make some adjustments. I’ll be training in Texas again. It was my first training camp down there and it was a great one. I had no complaints, training was phenomenal, and everyone was cool. This was my first time switching camps, but that won’t be used as an excuse for my performance. I’m looking to move down there full-time and it’ll lead me to another title reign.”

Twitter: @Allen_Strk

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