Pat Curran may have won two tournaments while fighting for Bellator; however, that doesn't mean that the reigning featherweight champion has any interest in going for a hat trick.
As part of the move to Spike TV, Bellator president Bjorn Rebney has also added in a new policy which will allow him to schedule rematches for any title bout that is deemed worthy of a second meeting.
During Friday's teleconference to promote Bellator 85, Curran was asked about the new policy and whether or not he supported it:
It’s great. Especially for a champion, if you do lose, you have that opportunity to take a second fight and redeem yourself. Coming out of two tournaments...I don’t want to ever fight in a tournament again.
With top stars from the company unwilling to enter the gauntlet once again, Rebney was right to remove such a booking limitation.
Curran won Bellator's Season 2 lightweight tournament but was unsuccessful in dethroning champion Alvarez for the belt. Based on the organizational structuring, Curran needed to win another tournament before he would be granted a second chance at picking up gold.
In 2011, Curran dropped to featherweight and picked up his second tournament victory. Not taking his second chance for granted, "Paddy Mike" unleashed a brutal combo of strikes that repeatedly knocked out champion Joe Warren.
However, who could blame Curran for not wanting to start from scratch? As the most marketable competitor in the featherweight division, heading back to the drawing board isn't a desirable outcome by any means.
Ultimately, this could prove to be a moot point, as Curran certainly doesn't plan on losing his belt anytime soon. Heading into his first title defense against Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Curran has great expectations following an excellent training camp.
The bout with Pitbull will kick off the main card of Bellator 85, which airs live on Spike TV on Thursday, January 17 at 10pm.
The champion doesn't take any offense at being booked in the first fight on the card. In fact, he is flattered by the faith that Rebney has displayed by putting him in the first Bellator bout to ever air on their new network:
I'm looking to start the year off right and have fireworks with Pitbull. I want to put on the best performances of my life and please the crowd. I want to keep amazing people.
Fireworks will be on full display at the event, as Curran and Freire are two of the most exciting featherweights on the planet, sharing 11 knockouts and 23 finishes between them.
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Andrew Saunders is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.