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Pat Curran has had such a stellar career at Bellator MMA that it’s easy to forget the Crystal Lake, Illinois, native is only 31 years-old. On his quest for another title, Curran will take on a young killer named A.J. McKee at Bellator 221.
The man they call “Paddy Mike” will look to stretch his winning streak to four on May 11 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Let these numbers remind you how brilliant this featherweight is.
17: Years old when he started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu along with his cousin, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran and former World Extreme Cagefighting title challenger, Jeff Curran.
84: Seconds needed to beat Tony Hervey in his professional debut. He submitted the future King of the Cage lightweight and welterweight champion with a rear-naked choke in round one of their bout at XFO 22: Rising Star.
51: Seconds is his fastest finish to date. It happened against Jay Ellis at XFO 25 on Aug. 9, 2008. Once again, his weapon of choice was the rear-naked choke.
8: First-round finishes. Curran currently has 23 career victories, eight of which ended in the very first round. Apart from Hervey and Ellis (twice), he also stopped Mike Pickett, Lucas Gwaltney, Mike Ricci, Luis Palomino and Shahbulat Shamhalaev.
13: Fights in regional promotions before Bellator took notice. Majority of those bouts happened at the Chicago-based X-Treme Fighting Organization where he finished with a record of 8-1.
2: Divisions in which he won a Bellator tournament. He won season two of the Bellator lightweight tournament after beating Ricci, Roger Huerta and Toby Imada. Curran also took the 2011 Bellator Summer Series featherweight tournament by overcoming Luis Palomino, Ronnie Mann and Marlon Sandro.
5: Full rounds with Eddie Alvarez on his first shot at Bellator gold. After winning the lightweight tournament, Curran was awarded the opportunity to challenge Alvarez for the Bellator lightweight belt. “Paddy Mike” lost this one by unanimous decision. Following the bout, Curran dropped to 145 and worked his way up to face Joe Warren for the featherweight title. This time, he wouldn’t be denied.
14: Seconds left in regulation when he submitted Daniel Straus to regain the Bellator featherweight championship at Bellator 112. Curran and Straus first met at XFO on April 27, 2009, where the former won via TKO. They met again more than four years later when Curran was the Bellator featherweight king. He lost the belt to Straus before taking it back in the rematch.
17: Fights at Bellator, with a record of 13-4. Curran is easily one of the promotion’s most successful fighters of all time. His losses came at the hands of Alvarez, Straus, Patricio Freire and Daniel Weichel.
12: Wins by stoppage. Curran tallied five victories by KO or TKO and seven by submission. Some notable fighters he stopped are Straus, Freire, Emmanuel Sanchez, Georgi Karakhanyan and Warren.