With Straus out, champ Pat Curran meets Shahbulat Shamhalaev at Bellator 95

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2/27/13 4:50:26PM
With Daniel Straus (21-4 MMA, 7-1 BFC) sidelined by a broken hand, his title fight with Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran (18-4 MMA, 8-1 BFC) will instead go to recent tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev (12-1-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC).

Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney today announced the change.

The title fight headlines Bellator 95, which takes place April 4 at Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. It's part of the Spike TV-televised main card, which follows prelims on Spike.com.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first passed along news of Straus' injury earlier this week.

2/27/13 5:07:47PM
Yes!!! this is fireworks
2/27/13 5:30:13PM
Glad Bellator got the russian to jump in there. This fight should be a classic. Curran is probably the more well rounded fighter but, Shamhalaev has some serious striking skills and a ton of power.
2/27/13 5:58:20PM
Going to be as awsome or better then watching Chael Sonnen licking Rashads shoe!!
2/27/13 6:04:44PM
Excellent replacement. I've picked against Shamhalaev 3 times now and unfortunately I'm going to do it again. Hopefully Curran can get another title defence. He'll have his hands full.
2/27/13 6:58:36PM
Curran is good but over rated he has several holes in his game i expect Shamhalaev to win.
2/27/13 10:58:59PM
Everytime I see Shahbulat Shamhalaev fight I become even more impressed. When he beat his 1st 2 guys in the tourney I was like okay maybe he got a little lucky.

And when he smashed Rad Martinez, man this Russian is the truth. I don't think the top ranked Featherweight Pat Curran has anything on him when it comes to striking.
Curran typically starts slow and that will be a recipe for disaster for Curran because the Russian does not start slow. Ask Mike Richman (whose a beast himself).
And Curran doesn't have better wrestleing than Rad Martinez. And Rad did very little with his wrestling against the Russian taking him down once.

I smell a new Featherweight Champion.
2/28/13 12:43:42AM
i would probably pick pat to win this fight with some technical stand up. shamhalaev has crazy power and i think that is what makes this fight so exciting. i was hoping this fight would happen eventually.
2/28/13 1:39:01AM
wow this is gonna be barn burner!!!!!!!!
i'm picking Shamhaleaev for the upset
2/28/13 9:54:03AM

Posted by tmas

Curran is good but over rated he has several holes in his game i expect Shamhalaev to win.

Curran all the way baby. I'd love to know what holes you see. The guy is an outstanding wrestler, has excellent submissions, and is one of the most technical strikers in the entire division (UFC included.)
2/28/13 11:45:06AM
If I were Curran I wouldn't trade with him at all
Make it a grappling match askew style
2/28/13 12:28:07PM
Hells to the yes! Shamhalaev has impressed the crap out of me. Dude has some serious power, for a lighter weight fighter. The biggest unknown for me, is his gas tank, and td defense. Rad was able to secure a td late in the first round, and Shammy didn't do much of anything on the bottom.

Curran will definitely test that gas tank, and toughness of Shahbulat.
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