by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
There are no guarantees for any fighter stepping into a tournament situation. Upsets, injuries, and freak occurrences are a part of sports, but when the opportunity comes to seize the moment, a fighter has to step up and scream “carpe diem” and leave it all in the cage.
Pat Curran is in this exact situation as he heads into Thursday’s Bellator event in Boston facing off against former UFC lightweight Roger Huerta in the semifinals of the 155-pound tournament. Curran got to this spot with a first-round knockout of Mike Ricci. When the next round of the tournament was determined he was more than happy to see his name opposite of Huerta’s.
“Once I found out Roger was in the tournament I thought it would be really cool to get a chance to fight him. He’s a legend. It would be an honor for me to fight someone like Huerta. He has a huge name in MMA, and I think it would be a really exciting fight, a really good match-up,” said Curran on MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“I definitely wanted this fight, my coaches wanted this fight, and once we got it, we couldn’t be happier.”
As the tournament was announced, Huerta got no special favors and no particular seeding because of his record or history within the division. He had to go the same route as every other Bellator lightweight if he wants a shot at champion Eddie Alvarez later this year.
Curran understands that Huerta is the betting line favorite, and more well known than he is, but that also leaves him in a unique situation to take full advantage of this fight.
“This is the biggest fight of my career, and the way I’m looking at it, it’s a win-win situation for me. I have nothing to lose,” said Curran. “I’m coming up in weight class and I’m fighting someone like Roger Huerta. If I go out there perform really good, and look really good, it’s going to look really good for me. Especially if I win, who knows where I’m going to go from there.”
Having his last fight broadcast and getting over 60,000 views on YouTube in just a few short days, Curran is ready to grab the spotlight away from Huerta. He knows it’s a challenge, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going in there to win.
“I respect him as a fighter. I mean he’s good, he has a really impressive record, and he’s an exciting fighter, and you’ve got to respect that, but I’m going in there to win. It’s a huge opportunity for me if I do,” Curran stated.
Curran and Huerta will square off this Thursday as Bellator hits the Wang Theatre in Boston for the next round of its lightweight tournament and a catchweight main event pitting lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez against Josh Neer.