Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran has been injured and will not be fighting at Bellator 73. Curran reportedly suffered a broken orbital bone in training. ESPN’s Josh Gross first reported the news.
The card will now be headlined by the Season 6 bantamweight tournament final between Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira. Curran’s opponent, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, will be pulled from the card and the fight will be rescheduled for when Curran is healthy.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told ESPN:
“First and foremost I feel horrible for Pat, he’s been looking forward to this fight pitting two of the best 145 pounds in the world against each other for months,” Rebney said. “Pat always elevates his game as the stakes get higher and higher. Right now the focus is Pat healing and getting back to 100 percent and we will get that fight rescheduled as quickly as Pat’s health will allow us to.”
This will be the second time an injury has prevented Freire from getting his shot at the Bellator strap. Friere earned his shot by defeating Daniel Straus in the Season 4 finale but was unable to fight former champion Joe Warren due to a broken hand. Pat Curran filled in for the injured Freire and destroyed Warren to earn the belt. Freire has not fought since May 2011 bout with Straus.
The injury to Curran creates a bit of a logjam for the featherweight title with Season 6 featherweight champion Daniel Straus waiting for his shot as well.