After an accident in training, which resulted in a broken orbital bone, Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran (17-4) looks to return to action sometime in 2013.
“I’m going to try to get back in as soon as possible,” said Curran on MMA Junkie. “I don’t like taking too much time off. I’m a very active fighter, and I’ve already had enough delay. I really want to get this fight going and I’m really excited about it.”
The accident occurred less than two weeks before his first championship defense against Patricio Freire (17-1).
“I was sparring with this guy for six or seven weeks leading up to the fight, and I don’t know – it was just a freak accident,” said Curran. “He pivoted to his left and threw a right hook. I saw footage of it, and I ducked my head right into it – right on the sweet spot. I’ve never had this happen before, and I knew immediately something was wrong.”
Curran said he was blinded for 20 to 30 minutes in one eye and his nose started to bleed, despite not being hit in that spot. The injury caused him to stop training for six to eight weeks, and he looks to resume again around October.
“I felt bad about it, just because it was so close to the fight,” said Curran. “It was full-contact sparring and we really were trying to push the pace. I was very disappointed.”
Bellator has made no decision if they will create an interim champion in the meantime, a call Curran hopes the company doesn’t do.
“It kind of defeats the purpose of Bellator, where you win the tournament and get your shot at the title,” said Curran. “But at the same time, it keeps two guys active and busy and puts on a good show for Bellator. But it defeats the purpose of the tournament format, and I don’t see Bellator getting away from that.”