After an extremely successful year in 2012 that saw him claim the Bellator featherweight championship, Pat Curran may be even having a better year this year.
So far in 2013, Curran has defended his title twice against two very tough opponents in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Shahbulat Shamhalaev. From those fights Curran feels he’s learned a lot and is all the better for them.
“I’m really listening to my body more,” he said. “I’m not pushing through training and keep grinding through injuries. I’m taking better care of my body and taking care of the injuries I have so they won’t cause bigger problems down the road.
“That’s actually made for a much better training camp and my body feels great. I’m not over training right now.”
For Curran’s third title defense, he’ll take on Daniel Straus at Bellator 106 on Friday, Nov. 2. The event was supposed to be Bellator’s first pay-per-view event, but after the Rampage Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz main event blew apart following Ortiz’s injury, the event was moved to free television on Spike TV.
On a card stacked with multiple top tier fighters and other title defenses, it would be understandable if Curran chose to want to push himself to stand out amongst the pack, but that’s not something he’s going to press himself to do.
“I’m not putting too much pressure on myself,” he said. “I just want to go out there and perform the best that I can.
“I try to put on exciting fights for the fans every time I step in the cage. It doesn’t matter if I’m on PPV or not, I’m going to fight my heart out either way.”
When it comes to Straus (21-4), even though Curran (19-4) has defeated him once before, he is looking at Nov. 2 as a whole new fight.
“We fought back in the day really early in our careers and I was able to catch him with a right hand and knock him out,” said Curran. “I’m not looking past that. I know we’ve changed and are completely different fighters. Anything can happen now.
“He’s got really good striking, is very long, uses combinations with his wrestling and grappling. He is coming off a long layoff and an injury, so I’m not sure what to expect, but I am ready to go all five rounds with him if I have to.”
With the success he’s found in Bellator, Curran told MMAWeekly.com that he’s eager to continue on and strike while the iron is hot.
“I don’t like looking past my fights, but obviously in my mind I see myself winning and am very confident in that,” he said. “If there are no injuries and I’m ready to go again, I’d like to get right back in there and keep knocking these fights out.
“I’m still young. I’m 26, and I’m trying to fight as much as possible at an early age and make it better for myself in the long run.”