One of the two title fights headlining Bellator's premiere on Spike will see Pat Curran defend the Featherweight Championship for the first time.
His challenger, Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, has waited a long time for this opportunity. His journey has been littered with unfair decisions, false starts, injuries, and just plain bad luck that prevented him from getting his shot. But nearly two and a half years after a controversial split decision cost him his first opportunity at a title shot and twenty months after he plowed through the competition to win the very next featherweight tournament, Patricio Pitbull is finally get his chance.
Pitbull, whose brother Patricky is also a Bellator fighter competing in this season's Lightweight Tournament, has stormed through everyone put in front of him. Championship gold, let alone a tournament win, seemed but a foregone conclusion in even his earliest Bellator appearances. Then came his meeting Joe Warren in the finals of the Season 2 Featherweight Tournament, where the judges gave it to Warren in a highly controversial split decision. Not to be deterred, he immediately entered himself into the Season 4 Featherweight Tournament, easily dispatching of his first two opponents by first round knockout and winning in the finals by Unanimous Decision.
That was in March of 2011. A broken hand prevented him from getting his title shot and redemption against then champion Joe Warren, and so once again Patricio found himself having to wait. Then Joe Warren, who is anything if not ambitious, set his sights on becoming the first ever dual-division champion and entered into the Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament. And so, once again, Pitbull had to wait.
Pat Curran is no stranger to the waiting game himself. He won the title by defeating then champion Joe Warren in March of 2012, almost a full year after he won his opportunity to challenge for the title in the 2011 Summer Series. But he was forced to wait on the sidelines while Warren pursued his two-title quest.
It took a while to get here, but tonight, the two will finally meet. There won't be any injuries holding the competitors back, no excuses, and no more waiting.