Bellator Fighting Championships founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney announced today that Roger Huerta will face rising star Pat Curran, while “Submission of the Year” award winner holder Toby Imada will face Carey Vanier at Bellator’s May 6th event at the Wang Theatre in Boston.
“As a fan, I can’t wait for our May 6th show in Boston ,” Rebney said. “Alvarez vs. Neer should be explosive, with Eddie making his first appearance in the U.S. since he won our lightweight title last summer. Huerta vs. Curran just got really interesting coming off of Pat’s one punch KO of previously undefeated Mike Ricci. Toby’s world class submission wrestling vs. Carey’s world class wresting should be a great fight as well.”
The two fights comprise the semifinal round of Bellator’s ongoing Season 2 lightweight tournament. The winners of each contest will face each other in the Season 2 finals in June, with the winner earning the right to face Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez for his strap.
Rebney made the announcement today at an afternoon press conference at the Wang Theatre, where he was joined by Curran and Alvarez, whose much-anticipated Bellator Super Fight with former UFC contender Josh Neer headlines the May 6th Boston card.
Alvarez’s super fight against Neer could not come at a better time for the Bellator champion. Just two weeks ago, Alvarez (19-2) was the consensus No. 3 lightweight in the world behind BJ Penn and Shinya Aoki. With Penn and Aoki both losing over the last week, Alvarez has an opportunity on national television to establish himself as the world’s top-ranked lightweight.
Huerta (21-3-1) is a former UFC lightweight contender who is the only MMA fighter in history to be pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He signed a long-term contract with Bellator this winter and won his first fight via third round kneebar submission versus the previously undefeated Chad Hinton on April 8th at Bellator 13.
Curran (10-3) is the cousin of MMA pioneer Jeff Curran. He burst onto the national MMA scene at Bellator 14 last Thursday with a spectacular KO of the previously undefeated Mike Ricci that soon became Bellator’s latest “YouTube moment.” In just five days, the clip has already been viewed online more than 65,000 times.
Imada (24-13) is a longtime MMA veteran who gained the most notoriety of his career thanks to his stunning inverted triangle choke submission of Jorge Masvidal at Bellator 5 last spring. Though he fell to Eddie Alvarez in the Bellator Season 1 lightweight finals, he made an auspicious return to Season 2 with a dominant performance over WEC veteran James Krause at Bellator 14.
Vanier (8-2) is a former all-American wrestler at Minnesota ‘s Augsburg College (also Huerta’s alma mater), who made an impressive Bellator debut at Bellator 13 with a TKO of MMA veteran Joe Duarte.