Shahbulat Shamhalaev won all of his Season 7 Bellator featherweight tournament fights by knockout. When he meets champion Pat Curran, the Russian plans similar results.
“I really don’t see this fight with Pat Curran going to the judges’ decision,” said Shamhalaev to MMA Junkie. “I doubt that will happen. Expect a finish because with my striking power, if I land on him, he is going down.”
Daniel Strauss was scheduled for the fight before breaking his hand and being arrested all within one week. Shamhalaev was named as the replacement.
Shamhalaev finished Rad Martinez in the second round to claim the tournament. His other two fights didn’t go past round one.
Curran made his first championship defense to kick off Season 8 in January. He earned a split-decision over Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
They headline Bellator 95 tomorrow, April 4, from Revel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The main card airs on Spike TV at 10 p.m. ET.