Newport Beach, CA. (February 27, 2013) – After a dominating run through The Toughest Tournament In Sports with three knockouts in his three tournament fights, explosive Russian striker Shahbulat Shamhalaev has earned his title shot and will battle reigning Bellator Featherweight World Champion Pat Curran Thursday, April 4th inside Atlantic City’s Revel Casino live on Spike.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling 800-745-3000. The Main Card will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, with doors to event opening at 6:30pm EST.
“When Daniel went down with his injury, I reached out to Shahbulat and his manager to see if he was ready for this fight, and without hesitation his answer was yes,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “After watching Shahbulat’s run through our last tournament, I couldn’t think of a better fight to end our season than Curran-Shahbulat on April 4th.”
After a hand injury forced Daniel Straus off the card, Shamhalaev steps in after collecting three knockout victories en route to a $100,000 Tournament prize and a title shot against the top ranked Curran. Armed with a devastating right hand and some of the quickest hands in the sport, “The Assassin” is ready for a quick turnaround April 4th.
“All the work I’ve put in has been for this moment, and I couldn’t be happier to give all the Atlantic City fans a show on April 4th,” Shahbulat said. “Pat Curran is a really tough competitor, but I know what I have to do to get the belt and become Bellator’s new Featherweight Champion.”
Widely regarded as one of the top two featherweights in the world, Curran brings a dominating 18-4 record into his latest title defense, including victories over Patricio Pitbull, Marlon Sandro, Roger Huerta, and Mike Ricci. While the reigning Bellator Champ had his original sights set on Straus, Curran is well aware of the challenges at hand April 4th with Shamhalaev.
“He’s a great counter striker, as am I, and I see a lot of openings with Shabulat,” Curran said. “Shabulat brings one punch knockout power, and with my style, it’s going to be a swing for fences fight. This is my second fight this season, and I couldn’t ask for more. I love staying active, and Bellator has provided that for me.”
The night will also feature the return of New York native and former Bellator Welterweight World Champion as Lyman Good battles Renzo Gracie product and fellow New Yorker Dante Rivera. Both have strong followings in the Tri-State area and should have a strong show of support inside Revel.
Currently ranked as the world’s top ranked 125 pound female fighter, Jessica “Evil” Eye returns to the Bellator cage when she takes on Tiger Schulmann’s own Munah Holland on April 4th live on Spike TV. Eye is coming off the biggest win of her young career with a dominating performance over Zoila Gurgel and is looking to keep the momentum with another victory.
“As a woman in this sport you’re given very little, so that’s why when I fight we always need to deliver,” Eye said. “I think Munah is a great fighter and have always admired her striking ability, but I won’t let my admiration stand in front of my determination. This is my golden year, and this fight is just the beginning.”
The preliminary card will be highlighted with a middleweight showdown between New Jersey star Tom DeBlass and New York native Carlos Brooks as the two look to collect their first Bellator victory. After announcing his retirement in 2012, DeBlass has returned to the cage and will make his highly anticipated return April 4th inside Revel.
“I'm very excited to be fighting for Bellator right in my backyard,” DeBlass said. “All of my friends, family, students, and many fans will get to see me live. I'm coming back and making a statement, you can count on that.”
The full card for Bellator MMA from Revel on April 4th is below:
Bellator Featherweight World Title Fight: Pat Curran vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev
Bellator Middleweight Tournament Finals: TBD vs. TBD
Women’s Feature Fight: Jessica Eye vs. Munah Holland
Welterweight Feature Fight: Lyman Good vs. Dante Rivera
Catchweight Feature Fight(140 lbs.): Jimmie Rivera vs. Brian Kelleher
Welterweight Feature Fight: Sam Oropeza vs. Shedrick Goodridge
Lightweight Feature Fight: Phillipe Nover vs. Darrell Horcher
Middleweight Feature Fight: Tom DeBlass vs. Carlos Brooks
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Liam McGeary vs. Anton Talamantes
Featherweight Feature Fight: Will Martinez vs. Michael Phillips
Featherweight Feature Fight: Brylan Van Artsdalen vs. Brett Martinez
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BellatorMMA
About Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization. Televised to nearly 500 Million homes worldwide in over 107 countries, Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. With over 150 world-class athletes under contract, Bellator is home to many of the sport’s top mixed martial artists. Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California.
About Spike TV:
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mun2 is the leading Hispanic cable network for young millennial adults 18-34. From reality to music, on-air to digital, mun2 creates original content that resonates across a multi-screen platform. Young, vibrant and unabashedly Latino, mun2 has a distribution to over 38 million households. The network is part of Telemundo Media, a division of NBCUniversal.