Bellator 106: 'Confident' Pat Curran can beat anyone they put in front of him (Exclusive)

Bellator MMA

MMAmania.com correspondent C.J. Tuttle had the chance to speak with Bellator MMA's current featherweight champion Pat Curran prior to his upcoming featherweight title fight against Daniel Straus at Bellator 106 on Nov. 2, 2013 in Long Beach, CA.

Bellator 106, less than a week removed from its near-collapse at the hands neck of Tito Ortiz, looms on the horizon of the mixed martial arts (MMA) landscape.

What was expected to be a huge step for the Viacom-owned company, as it planned its first foray into the world of pay-per-view (PPV) on the shoulders of ex-Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champions, has been reduced to a stacked Spike TV line-up featuring its usual cast of recurring characters.

Pat Curran included.

On Nov. 2, 2013, those in attendance at the Long Beach Arena, in beautiful Long Beach, Calif., will bare witness to one of Bellator MMA's premier fighters defending his featherweight title against the 21-4 Daniel Straus in the suddenly-stacked 145-pound weight class.

This isn't the first time the two combatants have tangled inside steel mesh.

Their first altercation took place at Xtreme Fighting Organization (XFO) back in 2009 and ended when Curran finished Straus with punches early in the second round. At the time, the loss dropped Straus to 4-3, but since then, he has only lost once, at the hands of Patricio Freire at Bellator 45.

More on "Pitbull" later.

So, where does this leave Curran, the seventh ranked featherweight fighter in the world, heading into his sequel with Straus?

"Training is going great. Every training camp keeps getting better and better. I have no complaints, everything is going nice and smooth. We are actually ahead of schedule, weight is on point, as well as my timing ... everything is on point right now, I am definitely going to be ready."

I asked him if he planned on doing anything differently this time around and whether Straus' evolution as a fighter will change his game plan.

"I have watched all his fights, seen him grow as a fighter. He is very talented and very strong. He mixes up his strikes with his wrestling ability, he really just puts on the pace and wears guys out. That's what he is good at. Definitely expecting him to do be doing the same thing, Anything can happen, a fight's a fight, it can change in a second, you can't prepare for it, you have to be ready."

No fighter looks past his next foe, but I questioned Curran about his potential opponents with a win on Nov. 2, whether it be Justin Wilcox, "Pitbull" or Magomedrasul Khasbulaev.

"Even after Straus, 'Frodo' is lined up before Pitbull. That's the thing about Bellator. You win the tournament, you deserve the spot to challenge the champion. The second time around will definitely be an interesting match-up because we fought once before recently. We would need a different strategy heading into the fight, especially on his part, too."

And what about playing Bellator MMA fantasy booker and putting himself in a rematch with the recently-victorious Joe Warren? He shot the idea down.

"We did fight. I did beat him in the third round, it was a late stoppage. It was a little bit past the time it should have been stopped, but as far as a rematch, if he plans on going back up to 145 and getting back in the tournament and challenging for my title then absolutely. I don't see that happening in the future."

I started to transition to the next question, when he interrupted --

"I have a lot of confidence in myself, I know I can beat anyone they put in front of me. I am just a fighter, I love fighting."

It is only a matter of time until he becomes a household name and starts fielding offers from other large companies, similar to the situation with Ben Askren. If so, would he ever consider leaving?

"Oh, of course. I really don't put too much thought into it right now. I am in a good position where I am at. When the time comes, that is why I trust my management company to care of me and we will go from there. As of now, I am taking one fight at a time, just trying to knock these fights out as quickly as possible."

All roads lead to Bellator 106, for the company, its fighters, and Curran, who looks to stay as active as possible in the prime of his career by building his stock and continuing to grow as a mixed martial artist.

"Overall, I just want to see how good I can become as a fighter, see how far I can take it in this sport. There is a short time frame I have to just see how far I can go."

Even with an opponent as formidable as Straus, I don't see any way Curran will be defeated. My money is on the man with the title, what about you?

Be sure to keep tabs on everything involving Bellator 106 in our event archive here.

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