The opening fight on Spike TV at Bellator 85 saw featherweight champion Pat Curran (18-4) take a split-decision win over Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (17-2). Despite the close encounter, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said a rematch isn’t in the near future. The next title shot goes to Daniel Straus (21-4).
“At the end of the day, I think Daniel deserves his shot now without any type of delay,” said Rebney. “Not that many people talk about Straus, but I literally think belongs in most people’s top seven or eight in the world. He’s a really talented fighter and one of the biggest featherweights I’ve ever seen.”
Straus lost in the finals of the Season 4 tournament to Freire. He took three decision wins to be crowned the Season 6 tournament winner.
After Straus and Curran meet, the champion still has to go through the Season 7 tournament winner. That will be either Rad Martinez (14-2) or Shahbulat Shamhalaev (11-1-1), depending on who leaves the winner of their February 21 fight. That takes place at Bellator 90.
At yesterday’s Bellator 85, Curran took the fight 48-47, 47-48 and 48-47 on the judges’ scorecard.