Bellator

PAT CURRAN WINS BELLATOR LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNEY

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Crystal Lake’s Pat Curran continues his Cinderella story to win Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Championship.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (June 10, 2010)Pat Curran completed his unlikely Cinderella-story run through Bellator Fighting Championships’ Season 2 Lightweight Tournament on Thursday, scoring a split decision victory over MMA veteran and 2009 Submission of the Year titleholder Toby Imada to win the tournament championship.

Curran’s win headlined another great night of fights from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in South Florida, roughly 30 miles south of the high school that Curran represented in the state wrestling finals just four years ago.

On Thursday, with dozens of his friends and family looking on, the 22-year-old impressed the judges with an athletic takedown defense and a series of powerful blows to the head that opened two cuts around Imada’s right eye. With the win, Curran earned the Season 2 Championship and the right to fight reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion and 20-2 MMA star Eddie Alvarez

Alvarez, who watched the fight cageside with his son, Eddie Jr., called Curran’s performance “tough” and “impressive.”

“The guy’s powerful and he hits hard,” Alvarez said as Curran (12-3) was presented with a check for $100,000. “I’m looking forward to fighting him.”

Curran, who was inspired to begin a career in MMA by his cousin, UFC, WEC and Strikeforce veteran Jeff Curran, said afterwards that Bellator “changed my life.” It was his third consecutive upset victory along with a quarterfinal KO of Georges St.-Pierre training partner Mike Ricci and a semifinal decision win against UFC veteran and early tournament favorite Roger Huerta.

“What Pat Curran accomplished tonight is exactly what Bellator is all about,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He proved to himself and to the world that he deserves this championship and he deserves a fight with Eddie Alvarez thanks to three straight outstanding wins against three very tough opponents.”

Imada, who helped put Bellator on the map during its inaugural season with his now-famous inverted triangle choke submission of Jorge Masvidal, accepted the defeat graciously, congratulating Curran and saying “that’s what I get for leaving it up to the judges.”

If you missed the fight you can watch all the best moments this weekend on the special highlight shows on airing on NBC(WMAQ TV) and Telemundo(WSNS TV.)

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