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With Daniel Straus Injured, Shahbulat Shamhalaev Fast-Tracked to Shot at Pat Curran in April

(Full fight video of Shamhalaev’s tournament-winning performance against Rad Martinez at Bellator 90, courtesy of Wax6ynat Wamxanaeb-P3A MaptnHe3 Fuck You.) 

Another day, another injury.

At last week’s Bellator 90 event, stone-faced Russian “Assassin” (is there any other kind?) Shabulat Shamhalaev wrapped up the promotion’s 7th season featherweight tournament with a vicious knockout over fellow finalist Rad Martinez. In doing so, Shamhalaev earned a future shot at the winner of the Pat Curran/Daniel Straus featherweight title fight scheduled for April 4th. Fortunately for Shamhalaev (and unfortunately for Straus), a broken hand has forced the season six tournament winner out of the fight and has in turn opened the door for the Russian, who will now face Curran a bit earlier than expected. Bjorn Rebney broke the news via his Twitter account:

As Bjorn noted, the opponent switcheroo arguably makes for a more interesting matchup for both Curran and the fans. Shamhalaev exploded onto the mainstream scene with a pair of uber-violent first round TKO’s in his first two stateside appearances at Bellator 76 and 79. The fact that he appeared to come out no worse for the wear in his destruction of Martinez makes for the perfect matchmaking opportunity. After capturing the featherweight title with an unnecessarily brutal beatdown of Joe Warren last March, Curran most recently outpointed the highly-touted Patricio Freire at Bellator 85 in January.

So Potato Nation, will the Bellator featherweight title, like the middleweight strap before it, fall into the icy hands of the Russians come April 4th?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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amsterdamheavy- February 28, 2013 at 10:54 am
Comment: I really hate when you guys link back to an article like the Curran v. Warren fight in this one, but the goddamned videos or pictures from that previous article are no longer available, hosted, whatever. You should cache that shit on your servers to avoid looking like amateurs.

Oh...wait...there I go again. I forgot, its fucking CagePotato so I should be a low expectation having motherfucker.
angry little feet- February 28, 2013 at 10:47 am
I'm just going to continue calling him Jambalaya.
teep- February 28, 2013 at 10:12 am
I would not bet on this fight! It's going to be good.
PERPATRAITOR- February 28, 2013 at 9:53 am
Love this guy. Soon ill be the only one of my friends to pronounce his name.