Pat Curran will attempt to get back into title contention in February. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
A pair of 145-pound matchups was added to Bellator MMA “Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” on Monday.
Bellator officials today announced that former featherweight champion Pat Curran will take on German submission specialist Daniel Weichel at the Feb. 13 event, while in the women’s division, ex-Invicta talent Julia Budd will tangle with unbeaten Brazilian Talita Nogueira.
Both bouts will be part of the Spike TV-broadcast main card at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., which is headlined by a middleweight duel between Melvin Manhoef and Alexander Shlemenko.
Curran has experienced highs and lows in his last three bouts, as the 27-year-old Illinois native lost his belt to Daniel Straus in November 2013, only to reclaim it four months later. “Paddy Mike” dropped the title again in September, when he lost a five-round decision to old nemesis and current champ Patricio Freire.
Weichel, 30, has won 11 of his last 12 outings stretching back to 2010 and has yet to taste defeat inside the Bellator cage. The former M-1 Global titleholder made a strong impression in 2014, as “The Weasel” won his first three bouts with Bellator, including two by way of submission.
A former Strikeforce prospect, 31-year-old Budd reignited her career by running up four consecutive victories with Invicta FC but has spent a year on the sideline since her win against Charmaine Tweet. Budd, along with fellow Strikeforce vet Marloes Coenen, was one of the first women signed by Bellator when the organization opted to resurrect its women’s division.
Nogueira, 29, will fight stateside for the first time after compiling a 6-0 record in her native Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Treta” has also had a year between fights, as she last competed in December 2013, when she submitted neophyte Michelle Oliveira via first-round arm-triangle choke.