After spending his entire career fighting overseas, German veteran Daniel Weichel made his American MMA debut last year with an impressive run through the Bellator Season 10 featherweight tournament.
Weichel managed to submit Scott Cleve in the quarterfinals before getting a unanimous decision in the semifinals over Matt Bessette and then taking the tournament title via submission from Desmond Green.
“I was very happy to be in the tournament with such high-level featherweights,” said Weichel. “I had a year layoff before and I was excited to show what I changed in that year. I think I did a good job of showing that in the tournament.
“With the first and the third (fights, I was) happy. I am pretty satisfied with how it went. Definitely in the Bessette fight, I feel didn’t go well, but I was able to grind out a victory and do what I needed to do.”
Following a nine-month layoff, Weichel (34-8) will return to Bellator on Friday night in Fresno, Calif., against former 145-pound champion Pat Curran (20-6).
> SEE ALSO: Bellator 133 Fight Card and Start Times
“I think it will be very exciting because two of the best featherweights will collide,” said Weichel of his bout with Curran.
“I feel very confident preparing with my team for this fight. They prepared me very well in all areas. I think my coaches worked out the perfect game plan. And I think I have all the tools to beat Pat Curran.”
Should Weichel defeat Curran, he doesn’t see any reason why a title shot against current beltholder Patricio “Pitbull” Freire couldn’t be just around the corner.
“Pat is one of the best in the world and beating him puts me in position to fight the higher ranked guys,” said Weichel. “There’s not too many other higher ranked guys (to face before) Pitbull.
“I want to prove my value to the company. (And while) the belt is the main goal, for right now the focus is just on Pat Curran.”