Possibly their deepest division, Bellator’s 145 pound division is easily their most active crowning tournament champions in Seasons 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and again in Season 8, their first after the move to Spike TV. While none of the top four fighters on our list are undefeated inside the Bellator cage, each of these Bellator featherweights has the potential to be the title holder a year from now with differing strengths for each. Pat Curran reigns as the champ of the Bellator 145 pound division after defeating Joe Warren at Bellator 60 but faces a tough challenge from Season 4 Featherweight Tournament winner Patricio “Pitbull” Freire on Spike TV in 2013 with the winner having Daniel Straus waiting in the wings.
Given the tournament format of Bellator leaving little debate in terms of rankings, it is still important to look at the big picture of recent activity from each fighter as well as their historic results.
And now the ranking of the best of the Bellator Featherweight Division…
Top Bellator Featherweight Fighter Rankings:
1. Pat Curran – (18-4, 8-1 BFC) – The Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament winner dropped to 145 pounds for Bellator’s 2011 Summer Series and the move proved to be a good one. With his lone Bellator loss and only loss in two years coming to Eddie Alvarez, Curran has twice brought home 6-digit checks. His KO of the favored Marlon Sandro at Bellator 48 capped off the promotion’s successful 2011 Summer Series and he scored a 3rd round KO of Joe Warren to win the Bellator belt. Most recently, Curran won a split decision over Freire at Bellator 85 in the first ever Bellator fight on Spike TV.
2. Patricio Freire – (17-2, 5-2 BFC) – One of the top International finds by Bellator’s talent evaluators is Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, a fighter who was signed with a 12-0 career record. His two losses came to Joe Warren at Bellator 23 by split decision and Curran at Bellator 85 in another split decision. Freire, the Season 4 Featherweight Tournament winner who defeated Daniel Straus by unanimous decision, has finished 13 of 19 opponents and will likely be looking for another Bellator Tournament appearance later this year.
3. Daniel Straus – (21-4, 7-1 BFC) – An elite level wrestler, Daniel Straus does one thing extremely well – win. A product of Team Vision in Cincinnati, Ohio, Straus has faced a who’s who of top level fighters fighting for Bellator, Shark Fights, the NAAFS and XFO winning 17 of his past 18 fights. Also the reigning NAAFS Lightweight Champion, Straus added a Bellator Championship to his trophy case when he won the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament defeating Sandro at Bellator 68. Straus will eventually get his title shot when he faces the winner of Curran and Freire sometime in 2013.
4. Marlon Sandro – (23-4, 6-2 BFC) – Widely considered one of the top Featherweights in MMA for years, Marlon Sandro joined Bellator for their 2011 Summer Series and advanced to the finals where he lost to Pat Curran. Sandro returned for the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament where he once again advanced to the finals before dropping a decision to Straus. Expect to see Sandro be one of the featherweights regularly featured by Bellator on Spike TV in 2013 and beyond.
5. Winner of Shamhalaev vs. Martinez – (TBD) – Shah Shamhalaev (11-1-1, 2-0 Bellator) and Rad Martinez (14-2, 4-0 Bellator) were supposed to fight at Bellator 83 before the fight was postponed due to Shamhalaev suffering from food poisoning. The winner will move into #5 on this list and, more importantly, get the $100k check and title shot.
Honorable Mention: Loser of Shamhalaev vs. Martinez, Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra, Magomedrasul Khasbulaev
Look to ProFightingFans.com for more MMA rankings!
Complete Bellator Rankings:
- Bellator Heavyweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Light Heavyweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Middleweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Welterweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Lightweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Featherweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Bantamweight Division Rankings
Last update January 2013