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Pat Curran Drops to Featherweight, Gets Spot in Bellator Tourney

After making plenty of noise and turning more than a few heads in Bellator's lightweight division, Pat Curran will now set his sights on the featherweight class.

Bellator officials Friday announced Curran, its Season 2 lightweight tournament champion, will cut to 145 pounds with a placement in the promotion's upcoming featherweight tournament, part of its "Summer Series" slate of events.

Curran's featherweight debut with the promotion will come at Bellator 46 on June 25 in Hollywood, Fla., which will serve as the opening round of the featherweight tourney. The semifinals are slated for Bellator 47 and the tournament finals for Bellator 48 – setting up the next challenger for Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren.

But the weight class won't be anything new to Curran (13-4, 3-1 Bellator), the younger cousin of former UFC, WEC and Pride fighter Jeff Curran, whom he trains with in the north suburbs of Chicago. Before his Bellator run, Curran often fought at featherweight.

"I've fought at featherweight for most of my career, so I'm really excited to get back to a weight class where I can really do some damage," Curran said in a release from Bellator. "I had some great results as a lightweight, but I'm really going to make some noise in this summer featherweight tournament."

Curran pulled off three straight upsets in Bellator's Season 2 lightweight tournament – a knockout of Georges St-Pierre protege Mike Ricci and back-to-back decision wins against Roger Huerta and Toby Imada to get a $100,000 paycheck and a shot at lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.

After a layoff with an injury, Curran finally got his shot at Alvarez earlier this month. Though he lost a five-round decision, he was the first opponent to take Alvarez the distance in three years, and just the third in Alvarez's career. And he got Alvarez's attention.

"Pat's got more heart than I could ever dream of having at 23 years old," Alvarez said. "The resiliency he showed for five rounds was incredible."

Now Curran will show that resiliency at 145 pounds, and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney believes he'll be a force in the division.

"Eddie Alvarez was right on target when he talked about Pat's heart," Rebney said. "But Pat also has spectacular knockout power and a great all-around mixed martial arts arsenal. Pat Curran will be a beast at 145."

Bellator will make more announcements for the eight-man tournament shortly, but expects Ronnie Mann and Marlon Sandro. Mann fights Saturday at Bellator 42 against Josh Arocho.

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