With just 10 days before fight night, Bellator 73 has lost its main event and has lost its Featherweight champion for an extended period of time. Pat Curran, regarded as one of the best in the world at his weight class, suffered a fractured orbital bone while training for his first title defense against FW tournament winner Patricio "Pitbull" Freire. ESPN has the details:
Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran has been forced from a title defense against Patricio Freire on Aug. 24 in Tunica, Miss., Bellator chief Bjorn Rebney confirmed to ESPN.com.
Curran (17-4) suffered a fractured orbital bone in the third round of sparring Tuesday morning at his gym in a suburb outside Chicago, according to the promotion.
"It's an incredibly frustrating injury, especially to happen so close to the fight, but these things happen," Curran said. "I can honestly say I'm in the best shape of my life, but injuries happen and once I heal up, I'm going to continue to train and come back stronger than ever to defend the Bellator featherweight title."
The 24-year-old Curran won the Bellator Featherweight title against Joe Warren at Bellator 60 in March after Curran unleashed a flurry of unanswered kicks, knees, and punches at Warren in the 3rd round, only for the referee to finally stop the fight several weeks later. If Brandon Vera and Josh Koscheck are anything to go by, this will put Curran out of commission until well into 2013.
Bellator has chosen to bump the Bantamweight tournament final between Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira to the main event slot, and the co-main event will be the Light Heavyweight final between Travis Wiuff and Atilla Vegh. As for Freire, it is unknown whether or not he'll remain on the card, but odds of finding someone to fight him on 10 days notice are fairly low.