Pat Curran's knockout of Joe Warren at Bellator 60 was quite the statement for the 24 year old Curran. Over the past two years in Bellator, Curran went from regional talent to the man who upset Roger Huerta and won the lightweight tournament to the man who won a featherweight tournament and then took the title from the dangerous champion.
It's enough that some, like Mike Johnston of Sportsnet.ca, think Curran is the best non-UFC fighter on the planet:
Pat Curran is the best fighter not currently in the UFC.
Warren is considered one of the best wrestlers in the sport, but Curran defended his takedown attempts with ease. The few times he was taken down he showed great hip escapes and scrambled back to his feet quickly, reminiscent of UFC champions Junior dos Santos and Benson Henderson.
Much like former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, Warren is also known for being able to take a world of punishment and keep moving forward, but Curran certainly stopped him in his tracks.
Curran has certainly looked better at 145 than he did at lightweight. While he was edging out very close decisions during his time at lightweight and eventually lost to then champion Eddie Alvarez, he is wrecking people at featherweight.
The biggest problem for Curran is his tendency to sit back and wait for openings. He is proving to be a very good closer once opportunities are presented, but in fights like the Alvarez bout, he can tend to sit and stare more than attack. This leads to not making definitive statements that he is winning rounds. There are some who felt he lost to Roger Huerta because of this, his split decision win over Toby Imada was controversial because of the same thing and it was an issue for the first two rounds of the Warren bout.
The one thing that will determine if Pat truly is the best fighter outside the UFC is if he is able to mix his opportunistic style with enough attacking to definitively take rounds on the scorecards.