Bellator featherweight champ Joe Warren (7-2) will defend his title on March 9 against Pat Curran at Bellator 61, an event set for Hammond, Indiana at the Horseshoe Casino. Warren was originally scheduled to put his belt on the line against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire but the Brazilian was forced out of the bout due to injury, thus opening the door for Curran to slide in.
News of the match-up was confirmed by Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
The 16-4 Curran earned his shot at Warren by winning the promotion’s Summer Series featherweight tournament last year. Curran also competed for the Bellator lightweight title in 2011, falling to Eddie Alvarez via decision, after taking out a slew of savvy 155ers to get the opportunity.
The bout will mark Warren’s return to the featherweight division after making a run at becoming a double-champion by dropping down to 135 pounds. He was defeated in the opening round of last season’s bantamweight tournament via knockout against eventual finalist Alexis Vila.
“Only thing better than Curran vs. Warren is having it in Bellator’s backyard! FW title’s on the line March 9 at Hammond’s Horseshoe,” Rebney posted on his Twitter account. Bellator is based out of Chicago, only a thirty-minute drive from Hammond. Additionally, Curran is a native of nearby Crystal Lake, Illinois, so he should have a large crowd support in his favor for the title contest.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR