Bellator MMA is all about tournaments – for better or for worse. The concept of the promotion’s reality show was even a tournament, with the winner advancing, not to a title fight, but to get into their real tournament for a chance to compete for the hardware.
So, why is it that former featherweight champion Pat Curran was granted an immediate rematch against Daniel Straus, the man who dethroned him just two months ago, instead of having to enter Bellator’s 145-pound tourney to earn another crack at Straus?
Bellator contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is wondering the same exact thing.
“‘Where title shots are earned not given.’ Really??? Bellator just disrespected my right to a title shot,” an irritated Freire wrote on his Facebook page.
Straus meets Curran for a third time, each holding one win apiece, on March 14 at Bellator 112.
Speaking of having previously fought before, Freire beat Straus in Season 4 of Bellator’s tournament finals to earn a shot at Curran. The Brazilian has since rattled off four straight wins after the defeat, with three of them coming in devastating knockout fashion.
Clearly, one can understand why Freire is upset with the perceived golden child treatment Curran is receiving. Then again, it’s possible Curran had an automatic rematch clause in his contract if he lost his title.
MMA contracts are held under lock and key, so neither Bellator nor Curran have confirmed such a stipulation existed in his deal.
Curran won the featherweight belt by beating Joe Warren in March 2012. He defended it twice prior to dropping a unanimous decision to Straus.