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Huerta Draws Curran in Bellator Semi-Finals


Tuesday, April 20, 2010
by Brian Knapp ([email protected])

UFC veteran Roger Huerta will lock horns with Pat Curran in the 2010 Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight tournament semi-finals at BFC 17 on May 6 at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theater in Boston. The promotion on Tuesday announced the matchup, along with the second semi-final pairing between Toby Imada and Carey Vanier.

A non-title super fight pairing Bellator lightweight king Eddie Alvarez with UFC castaway Josh Neer will headline the event.

Huerta made his promotional debut on April 8, as he submitted the previously unbeaten Chad Hinton with a third-round kneebar in Hollywood, Fla. Still only 26, Huerta has delivered 16 of his 21 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. His list of victims includes UFC veterans Clay Guida, Matt Wiman, Brad Blackburn and Naoyuki Kotani, along with former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Alberto Crain. Huerta has not been finished in nearly six years; his victory over Hinton snapped a two-fight losing streak.

Curran has won four of his past five fights. The 22-year-old Adrenaline MMA veteran advanced to the semi-finals with a first-round knockout against then unbeaten Canadian prospect Mike Ricci on April 15. The cousin of UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Jeff Curran, he debuted in 2008 with a submission victory against former King of the Cage champion Tony Hervey. Curran has been finished only once in 13 fights as a professional.

The Vanier-Imada matchup will provide the other finalist.

A collegiate All-American wrestler who trains under famed mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Vanier will ride a seven-fight winning streak into the matchup. A Minnesota native, the 28-year-old stopped Joe Duarte on third-round punches at Bellator 13 on April 8 and has finished six of his last seven opponents.

Imada, a finalist in the 2009 Bellator lightweight tournament, punched his ticket to the semi-finals with a second-round armbar-induced submission against WEC veteran James Krause on April 15. The 31-year-old has delivered 10 wins in his last 11 fights.
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