Pat Curran is a staple of Bellator MMA, coming up through the ranks of Bellator’s tournament all the way to winning the promotion’s featherweight championship. We sat down with Pat Curran to ask what fans can expect from his main event fight with Daniel Weichel (34-8).
Scifighting: What do you think about Daniel Weichel’s style? What do you think his gameplan is going into Bellator 133?
Curran: He’s going to be a very dangerous opponent. He has a lot of experience and more fights than me which definitely plays a big factor when it comes to overall experience as a fighter. He’s very well rounded-he’s a very slick grappler and he goes hard for the submission. Once he gets a hold of a submission he goes a hundred percent for it so you gotta be very cautious of that. He’s also not afraid to stand, stay in the pocket and throw with you so he’s a perfect fight for me. I think it’s going to be an exciting one. I have to be careful not to get caught in the submission game and scramble. Gotta respect him, I respect his power, his submission game and the fact that he has a lot of fights in the ring.
SF: Have you had any interaction with him before the events leading up to Bellator 133?
Curran: I’ve seen a couple interviews of his over twitter, he seems like a pretty respectful guy. I can’t say I know him because I haven’t even spoken to him but he seems like a professional. He does this for a living just like I am. This is his job and he’s looking to go after the title just like I am so we’re both in the same position here when it comes to what we want to go for and what we’re shooting for. As of right now he hasn’t lost yet in Bellator so he definitely has that under his belt right now.
SF: Are you picking up on a new vibe in the promotion under Scott Coker’s leadership?
Curran: I’ve only had one fight under Scott so far. I don’t really follow too much of the PR or any of the interviews, I kinda like to live my own life and don’t get too caught up in the MMA world because I pretty much live it and have to live it as a job. But I love the fact that he is changing it and mixing things up, he’s signing new talent from Glory and doing a great job. Bellator is only going to get better and more exciting to watch and it’s free on Spike for everyone to enjoy.
SF: You had previously suffered a calf injury. How has that affected your game and how has the recovery been?
Curran: I injured my calf before my second fight with Pitbull and had to take some time off. It still bugs me today and it’s just one of those things where injuries happen and you gotta push through ’em. I did a lot of rehab and the biggest thing is just getting it massaged and stretched and keeping it flexible, but it holds up well. It’s part of the game, it happens and life goes on.
SF: The longer people fight, the greater tendency people have to eventually “lose their chin.” Do you have a specific kind of defense that you implement to carefully protect yourself in competition?
Curran: You’re very right, you only have a chin for so long. It gets knocked and you get dropped and it starts to go. That is very true and you have to realize that and maybe I’m going to change my game up a little bit, maybe I’m going to still have the same style, it’s hard to say. I don’t really feel like I’m in a scenario where I have a weak chin or my chin’s going away and I don’t plan on changing my style up because of it. If anything I need to keep my hands a little bit tighter because of it. I just have to be more weary about the punches being thrown at me. Better head movement, better vision and keep my hands up a little higher. In time, your chin definitely does go. We’ve seen it does happen with countless numbers of fighters and it’s only a matter of time if you keep getting hit you’re going to lose your chin so I gotta do a better job of keeping my hands up and not getting hit.
SF: Have you changed anything in training since your last fight that you think is going to make a difference for you?
Curran: The biggest thing is I’m back home with my original Team Curran in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In the fight beforehand I tried something new and went to Team Takedown in Texas and stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new with a different team and different camp. I obviously didn’t have the outcome I wanted, so now I’m back home at Crystal Lake. I’m lovin it, everything’s going great, I’m feeling the love from everybody and I’m ready to get the job done.
SF: Do you feel that some fighters like Weichel, who have a lot of wins by submission, feel the need to try and prove themselves in an area they haven’t necessarily been successful in?
Curran: No I think it’s pretty much what you see is what it is. I have a pretty well-rounded record and I think of myself as a well-rounded fighter. Daniel Weichel’s strong suit is definitely his submission game. I don’t think he has any extra pressure to go for the submission, he has plenty of experience. If he doesn’t get the submission he’s ready to stand his ground. I don’t think he’s going to necessarily go for the submission right off the bat but if he has the opportunity and by mistake I give it to him, he’s going to take it. I don’t think he’s going to try anything new or anything I’m not aware of. Then again you never know, that’s the beauty of the sport. It’s constantly evolving and constantly changing and he might have something that no one’s ever seen or done before.
SF: Anything else you want to include before we go?
Curran: Tune it to Spike tonight at 9/8C. I always put all of my heart and everything I got into the fight. Daniel, I’m sure he’s a nice person but he’s going to be a stepping stone for my journey back to the title. I’d like to thank Team Curran, my coach Jeff Curran,my manager Bryan Butler, my sponsor Alienware and Bellator for being a huge support and for making my dreams come true. I’m very fortunate to be living the life I am with Bellator.