Bellator 112 goes down tonight in Hammond, Indiana. The main event of the evening features the Featherweight title rubber match between champion Daniel Straus and former champion Pat Curran.
Bellator was given a lot of flak for giving Curran an immediate rematch while other Featherweight tournament winners were waiting for their shot. Back at Bellator 106, then champion, Pat Curran was handily defeated by Straus by unanimous decision. Many expected Curran to be sent to the back of the pecking order as Patricio Pitbull and Frodo Khasbulaev were given their shots at Straus.
In a recent interview with MMA Sucka, Bjorn Rebney defended making the immediate rematch:
Pat Curran lost his last fight, but is slated for another Championship shot next week in Hammond, Indiana against Straus. There has been a lot of criticism on why Curran is getting the shot even though he didn’t go through the tournament rounds. Is there a specific reason why Curran got the immediate title rematch?
I had to weigh and balance a lot of factors. Frodo Khasbulaev was the next in line, but he is having a lot of visa issues getting into the country. Next fighter would have been Pitbull but he fought for us literally 5 times on Spike-TV. Curran and Straus, this is their trilogy fight. Given how high Pat was on many rankings I think he was the number 2 in this division and I think this fight is the best match-up for us at the current time. Plus with Pat fighting in his backyard it’s going to be a great trilogy fight.
While Rebney’s explanation is not exactly rock solid, he does make a few good points. Pat Curran is undoubtedly the face of their Featherweight division, and a rubber match always provides a ton of viewers.
In the end, Pitbull will watch tonight’s main event, and be able to fight whoever is the champion his next time out.