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[EXCLUSIVE] Bellator Champ Pat Curran Is Making the Most of His Short Window of Opportunity


(“The goal was to make a good living doing this and I’m already there. I want to see how far I can take it.” Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

By Elias Cepeda

Of late, much of the big news that comes from Bellator has to do with contract clauses and disputes, lawsuits and high-profile cancellations. Because of that, one can imagine it being difficult for a marquee Bellator fighter like Pat Curran to focus on simply doing his job well.

However, the featherweight champion insists that he doesn’t keep up on other people’s news and stays focused on what matters — fighting. “I don’t like to think about it too much,” he tells CagePotato.

“As a fighter I have a very short career window and I have to make the most of where I’m at right now. I’m on a main stage with a major organization that gives me the opportunity to stay busy and make a pretty decent living.”

Having a tough opponent in front of you can help a fighter keep focused as well and Curran has exactly that this Saturday at Bellator 106 when he defends his belt against Bellator Season 6 tournament winner Daniel Straus.

“He’s very talented and very well rounded,” Curran says of the challenger.

“He throws a lot of straight, long punches and follows up with kicks. He does a very good job mixing up striking with wrestling. He’s good at clinching with guys and wearing them out. I’m definitely not just expecting a striking fight like I had with ‘Pitbull’ [Patricio Freire]. I’m prepared for anything. If it becomes a striking match, I’m ready for it. If it goes to the ground, I’m ready to mix it up.”

Curran has indeed managed to develop a well-rounded game in his brief six years in the sport of MMA. He’s come a long way from growing up pretty ignorant of the sport in Florida and having his cousin, UFC veteran Jeff Curran, convince him to move to Northern Illinois with him and give it a shot.

“I had no clue back then,” Curran says. “I kind of went into it blind.”

After high school and going to school to become a paramedic, Curran heeded his cousin’s advice, moved north and began training as much as he could in between odd jobs. Now, he’s one of the best 145 pound fighters in the world and says he’s accomplished what he set out to do, though his hunger remains.

“My goal, overall, is to keep doing what I’m doing,” Pat explains.

“I know I’m still young and haven’t hit my peak yet. I want to keep an open mind, keep developing and keep learning. The goal was to make a good living doing this and I’m already there. I want to see how far I can take it.”

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