(Just be real, Pat. You woke up and the belt was gone. It happens. / Photo via @PatCurranMMA)
Due to a severe right calf strain, Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran will be unable to defend his title against top contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 121, June 6th in Thackerville, Oklahoma. As Curran stated in a release yesterday:
“I have my sights set on getting back into the cage as soon as possible, with July in mind, but I want to be 100 percent healthy heading into that cage to smash ‘Pitbull.’”
Bellator has had a rotten stretch of luck lately with its champions staying healthy. Most notably, Eddie Alvarez had to pull out of the promotion’s first pay-per-view event due to a concussion — which led to Will Brooks winning an interim lightweight title that may or may not be worth the leather it’s printed on. Plus, Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas suffered a head injury of his own in training last month, and was forced to withdraw from his scheduled May 2nd title defense against Joe Warren.
In other injury news…
— The Jake Shields vs. Jon Fitch pitching duel at World Series of Fighting 11: Gaethje vs. Newell has been scrapped due to Shields sustaining an undisclosed injury. The promotion is currently searching for a replacement opponent for Fitch. (Don’t suggest Palhares; they already tried that.) WSOF 11 is slated for July 5th, at a venue to be announced shortly. Yes, World Series of Fighting is holding a card on the same day as UFC 175, the most (only?) stacked UFC card of 2014. Gutsy move, guys.
— Just two weeks after Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mirko Cro Cop was announced for the main event of GLORY 17 (June 17th, Los Angeles), Kharitonov has been forced to withdraw from the kickboxing bout due to a finger injury. No word yet on who Cro Cop might fight as a replacement, but please God let it be Tim Sylvia.