The featherweight championship is on the line and the featherweight tournament kicks off when the Bellator Fighting Championships kicks off its sixth season Friday.
Champion Joe Warren and Pat Curran get in the cage in the Bellator 60 Main Event March 9 at The Horseshoe Casino in Indiana.
Warren is 7-2 and returns to defend his Bellator featherweight strap. He faces the Curran, a world-class grappler and self-proclaimed baddest man on the planet, who is 16-4 lifetime.
Curran rides a three-fight streak into this battle and he is favored on the Bellator 60 odds menu despite the fact he is the challenger.
Online sportsbooks such as 5Dimes have him as big -325 betting favorite in this one.
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Warren is listed at +265 and his backers would make out with a healthy profit if he can win
Both have plenty of victories on their resumes over solid MMA opponents. Warren has beaten Joe Soto, Patricio Friere and Kid Yamamoto among his seven victims while Curran KO’ed Marlon Sandro in his last fight.
Sandro is generally regarded as one of the world’s top featherweights.
The Bellator Featherweight tournament kicks off as well with quarterfinal matches pitting Sandro (20-3) against bearded Roberto Vargas.
Alexandre Bezerra (12-1) faces Genair da Silva, while Daniel Straus (17-4) returns to Bellator against unbeaten Jeremy Spoon (12-0), a native of Thailand.
The fourth quarterfinal of the Bellator featherweight tournament sees Mike Corey challenging Ronnie Mann.
The card includes some catchweight battles involving familiar names. Travis Wiuff, Sean McCorkle and Shamar Bailey are among those taking part in the undercard.