Pat Curran will get his second crack at Bellator gold on March 9 at Bellator 61.
That's when the fast-rising featherweight will face off with reigning champion Joe Warren at The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced on Wednesday.
In 2011, Curran won a chance to fight for the lightweight crown but fell in a unanimous decision to Eddie Alvarez. Afterward, he dropped weight to move into the lower division and steamrolled the tournament field with finish wins over Luis Palomino and Marlon Sandro, as well as a decision over Ronnie Mann, to advance to a title bout.
Since then, Curran (16-4) has been waiting on the sidelines for his chance, as first, Warren (7-2) tried his hand at becoming a two-division champ but got knocked out by bantamweight Alexis Vila. And then, Curran was forced to wait as previous tournament winner Patricio "Pitbull" Freire was queued up to fight Warren first.
As it turns out, Freire suffered a hand injury that required surgery, allowing Curran to cash in his opportunity first.
For Curran, it will be a home game of sorts, as the Crystal Lake, Illinois fighter is based only about 75 miles from the fight venue.
Bellator's sixth season premieres with a March 2 event, though a location for that show has yet to be announced.