The world of mixed martial arts is searching for featherweights who can compete with Jose Aldo. On his way to a 9-0 record with Zuffa's fight promotions, the UFC champion has destroyed everything in his path. Kenny Florian is up next, but after that who knows?
With a win tomorrow at Bellator 48 in Uncasville, Ct., Pat Curran or Marlon Sandro could be in the discussion.� Curran (15-4) and Sandro (19-2) battle for the Bellator Featherweight tourney title, $100,000 to the winner and a guaranteed shot at the Bellator 145-pound champ Joe Warren.
Sandro, a huge free agent signing from Sengoku in Japan, entered as the tourney favorite.
"He's a very tough fighter and explosive," Curran told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He puts on a very high pace. I definitely I have to be up to par for this. He's one of the top featherweights in the world and definitely trains with some of the top featherweights in the world."
"The tournaments are so close together they kind of remind me of wrestling tournaments in a way," Curran said. "You just constantly staying in shape, in the gym 24/7 and you're just focusing on one fight after the next. I like having these fights closer together. You can knock them out, then you can take a little bit of time off to relax and just get right back at it again."
Curran, 24, was a high school wrestler in Florida. In 2007, he re-located to the Chicago area to train with his cousin Jeff, a former WEC champion.
Curran is on a great run and the recent drop to the 145-pound weight class has only helped. It's not as if he was a slouch at 155 pounds. He beat Roger Huerta and Toby Imada on his way to a 2010 Bellator lightweight tourney title and followed that up by giving Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez one of his toughest fights in years.
If Sandro wins and ever gets to the UFC, it sets up an interesting quandary because he's a trainer partner with Aldo. Sandro is a slight favorite tomorrow night at minus-120, while Curran is minus-110.
Tomorrow's card is also highlighted by a heavyweight clash between two-time NCAA Div. 1 heavyweight wrestling champ Cole Konrad and UFC/Strikeforce veteran Paul Buentello. Former UFC heavyweight king Ricco Rodriguez will take on Kimbo Slice-killer Seth Petruzelli.