Bellator 61 Fight Card Laid Out; Joe Warren Defends Against Pat Curran

Joe Warren knees Kid Yamamoto

Joe Warren knees Kid Yamamoto

Bellator Season 5 Featherweight Tournament winner Pat Curran has been anxiously awaiting a date with champion Joe Warren… and now he has one.

Promotion officials on Thursday announced that Warren will defend his belt against Curran at Bellator 61 at The Venue at The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., on March 9.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday. It will be broadcast on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. The preliminary card will be streamed live on

“Everything is falling into place right now,” Curran said. “My hometown is really close to where I’m fighting and I know I’ll have the support of my family and friends. This is something that is meant to be.”

Even though Curran admits he will have the “home-cage advantage” on March 9, the 24-year-old Crystal Lake native knows the challenge that is right in front of him.

“Even though he’s coming off a loss, he’s a very dangerous opponent,” Curran said of Warren. “He is a very strong wrestler who’s going to try to close the distance and work the clinch against me. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”

After a one-fight stint at bantamweight, Warren is back defending his Bellator featherweight championship. Winner of his last five featherweight fights, the 35-year-old Denver product has the experience and the cage savvy to bust up Curran’s homecoming party.

“The Midwest is known for great fighters and great fight fans,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “To be hosting an event of this magnitude in our backyard is like Christmas morning.”

The Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament also kicks off at Bellator 61. Season 5 finalist Marlon Sandro takes on Roberto Vargas, UK featherweight Ronnie Mann faces Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Wagnney Fabiano, Alexandre “PoPo” Bezerra enters his first Bellator tournament to fight fellow Brazilian Genair da Silva, and Daniel Straus returns to the Bellator cage after nearly a year against the undefeated Jeremy Spoon, who brings a spotless 12-0 record to the cage.