Pat Curran may have been a former champ with the organization, but the fact of the matter is that when he stepped into the cage at Bellator 184 last night, he did so after a layoff of over a year – courtesy of a punctured lung he suffered in his last fight. So the big question mark hanging over his head when he took on John Teixeira – a veteran Brazilian with a jiu-jitsu black belt – was whether Curran still had it.
Although much more cautious and measured than before, Curran still has a well-timed right hand at his disposal, and he used it to drop Teixeira again and again in the first round. Teixeira shook off the cobwebs each instance that right put him on his knees, but the points were racking up.
The Brazilian came out for Round 2 eager to earn those points back with inside- and outside-leg kicks. Curran blocked very few of them, electing instead to absorb them so he could find more openings to counter-punch, but when none were forthcoming, the former champ switched to wrestling mode, and briefly put Teixeira on his back.
It was all about those takedowns in the third, and when they came more often, it was clear that Curran’s control of where the fight was being fought was going to translate into joy on the judges’ scorecards.
Results: Pat Curran def. John Teixeira via Unanimous Decision