Pat Curran will return to the cage on April 4 to defend his Bellator featherweight championship against Daniel Straus at Bellator 95.
Promotion officials announced the booking Wednesday, also confirming that former welterweight champion Lyman Good will compete against Dante Rivera and UFC veteran Tom DeBlass will face Carlos Brooks. A women’s bout between Jessica Eye and Munah Holland will also go down at the event, which takes place at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J., and airs live on Spike TV.
Curran’s April 4 meeting with Straus marks the second time the men will oppose each other in the cage. The featherweights first met in 2009 in the Illinois-based Xtreme Fighting Organization, with Curran collecting a second-round knockout.
Curran, 25, joined Bellator the following year and won the Season 2 lightweight tournament before coming up short against then-champion Eddie Alvarez. The setback prompted Curran to cut to 145 pounds, where he has won five straight fights. The two-division tournament winner wrested Bellator’s featherweight title from Joe Warren last year and successfully defended it for the first time on Jan. 17, taking a hard-fought unanimous decision victory from Patricio Freire in Bellator’s inaugural bout on Spike TV.
“This may end up being the most challenging fight I’ve faced up to this point,” Curran stated in a release. “Daniel is going to make for a very tough challenge, but I know what I’m capable of. I feel like I’m always growing as a fighter, and the sky is really the limit for me. I’ve got the belt, and I’m not letting anyone take it away from me.”
Straus, 28, has lost just once since his 2009 defeat to Curran, falling in the Season 4 tournament finals to Freire. Five straight wins would follow the loss, as Straus captured the Season 6 crown and most recently dominated UFC veteran Alvin Robinson en route to a second-round submission this past October at Bellator 78.
“Fighting for the Bellator featherweight title against Pat just signifies how my career has come full circle,” Straus said. “It was my loss to Pat that motivated me to become a better fighter. Now I get to see how much better I’ve actually gotten. Getting a chance to show my skills on Spike TV is a huge opportunity for me. The stage keeps getting bigger, and the viewers are growing. I welcome the challenge to perform well in front of millions against one of the world’s best featherweights. I feel I have a lot to provide in this fight, and I intend on doing so.”