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Huerta vs. Curran, Imada vs. Vanier set for Bellator lightweight semifinals

CHICAGO, Ill. (April 20, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney announced today that Roger Huerta will face rising star Pat Curran while “Submission of the Year” title holder Toby Imada will face Carey Vanier at Bellator’s May 6th event at the Wang Theatre in Boston.

The two fights comprise the semifinal round of Bellator’s ongoing Season 2 lightweight (155 lbs.) tournament. The winners of each fight will face each other in the Season 2 finals in June with the winner of that fight earning the right to face Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez in a title bout.

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.

“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.”

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 B.J. 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. First, though, Alvarez has to get past powerful UFC veteran Neer with his 27-9-1 career record and KO power in both hands.

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 the 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.

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Bellator. For tickets, go to Ticketmaster.com.

9 COMMENTS
  • Dufresne says:

    I’m gonna have to go with Huerta in his fight, but the other one I’m not sure about. Imada seems like a pretty tough customer with obviously advanced BJJ, and Vanier looked like he was having issues in his last bout against a guy that only had about a weeks notice for the fight. I think I’m gonna have to pick Imada for the win here, but I haven’t seen enough of Vanier to really know what he brings.

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    A whole lotta Bellator going on!-I have a feeling that Huerta isn’t going to make it to the finals. This field would be challenging for anyone. I find myself looking more towards the next Bellator episode than I do the next TUF episode.

  • twyg says:

    I’m pulling for pat in this fight. He used to bar back and bounce at a place I go to and this couldn’t happen to a better guy. Hope he pulls the upset. It does seem to be happening more these days.

  • Guthookd says:

    A whole lotta Bellator going on!-I have a feeling that Huerta isn’t going to make it to the finals. This field would be challenging for anyone. I find myself looking more towards the next Bellator episode than I do the next TUF episode.  (Quote)

    Same here. That is actually saying a lot because this season of TUF is not bad at all, even with that BS call last week.

    It’s hard to make a pick on Huerta/Curran because we basically saw nothing of Pat’s skills in that last fight. I’ll save my comments for after. Just hoping for a good fight that goes past round one.

    Can’t wait til Thursday.

  • DUGAS says:

    Holy crap, im usually a just a lurker, but i work at a hospital in Ct. Just talked to the 8 guys fighting thurs, they were here getting there pre fight stuff done, pretty exiting, not much happens in eastern Ct. for fight fans…question, did i see GSP’s trainer with them, or with one of the guys anyway?

  • Rece Rock says:

    BFC is destined to be the #2 promotion. I don’t hate SF I’m just so disapointed by them month in and month out that I just hope they fall back and get back to basics n just focus on the challengers series n the womens divisions.

    BFC!

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Guthook’d and Moldy, no offense but why compare TUF and Bellator? one is a reallity tv program and one is an MMA event. I like both but i dont see the comparison.

    i’d like to see Roger and Toby go through just cos i wanna see them fight, or maybe they could both lose and fight that way. i reckon it would be awesome. I fancy Toby to get the rematch with Eddie this year.

  • CK45 says:

    I have to agree with twyg…Patrick is a stand up guy and just a good person. When he moved here 2 years ago and started training at Curran Martial Arts he busted his ass and made himself a better fighter…he continues to improve and mature with each fight and has become a very well rounded fighter. He was only able to showcase his stand up vs Ricci…it is his ground game that has gotten him to where he is now. He has great wrestling, very solid BJJ, and he strength on the ground is crazy. He deserves to get this win and I look forward to seeing him get the win in Boston! Let’s Go Paddy Mike!

  • Dufresne says:

    Guthook’d and Moldy, no offense but why compare TUF and Bellator? one is a reallity tv program and one is an MMA event. I like both but i dont see the comparison.

    They’re both tournament based systems with generally unknown, but talented fighters that occur on a seasonal basis. Granted BFC has Huerta who’s more than just a talented unknown, but TUF had Big Country, so it kinda balances out.

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