Pat Curran’s first featherweight title defense is now set, as Bellator Fighting Championships officials announced Friday evening that the American will put his belt on the line against Season 4 tournament winner Patricio Freire at < a href="http://www.sherdog.com/events/BFC-Bellator-Fighting-Championships-73-22619">Bellator 73 on Aug. 24.
Bellator 73 serves as the Chicago-based promotion’s final of three upcoming Summer Series events. While no venue has been named for the August event, the evening’s main draw will air on MTV2 and Epix, delayed on the west coast.
The 2011 Summer Series featherweight tournament winner, Curran was granted the opportunity to challenge Joe Warren for the 145-pound title after Season 4 winner Freire was forced to postpone his crack at the belt due to a broken hand. Curran demolished Warren in violent fashion on March 9 at Bellator 60, pinning his smaller opponent against the cage and unloading with a vicious flurry of punches that caused Warren to collapse unconscious against the fence.
“This fight with Patricio is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Curran said in the official release. “This will be my first title defense, and I just want to get back in the cage and keep developing. ‘Pitbull’ is an outstanding fighter, so this should be a great fight.”
Meanwhile, Freire has not competed since capturing the Season 4 crown just over one year ago, stopping Georgi Karakhanyan and Wilson Reis in the quarter- and semifinal rounds before outpointing Daniel Straus in the finals. The only loss on the Brazilian’s record came to Warren in the Season 2 tournament finals, as “Pitbull” was bested by Warren via split decision in June of 2010.
“I’m very happy and relieved this fight is finally happening,” said Freire. “I've been through a lot with my hand injury and can't wait to get back in the cage. I’m 100 percent now, and all I want is to fulfill my dream of getting the belt and pay tribute to my late teacher, Bruno Gouvea. He’s the reason I’m here today, and he’ll be with me in spirit cage-side watching his work pay off. All is can say is Pat better be ready. I’ve never been so motivated for a fight, and I’ve never wanted the belt so much.”