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Horseshoe Casino to draw top MMA fighters

Updated: April 15, 2014 6:30AM



Some of the top MMA fighters in the country will invade the Horseshoe Casino inside the Venue tonight.

The main event will feature reigning Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus (22-4), of Cincinnati, against Crystal Lake, Ill.’s Pat “Paddy Mike” Curran. Curran lost his belt to Straus in a five-round unanimous decision on Nov. 2 and he’s looking to get it back.

There are 11 bouts scheduled in all with the first seven bouts on the Internet and the four fights on the Main Card airing on Spike TV. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the first bout starting at 6 p.m. The TV fights will start at approximately 8 p.m.

Former Bellator champ Curran, who held the featherweight belt for two title defenses, is looking forward to getting back in the ring with Straus.

“I’m just ready to get back into the cage and get another shot,” Curran said. “He’s an unbelievable fighter and I know I have to be better (tonight). I had a few things going on in my life when we fought in November but those things are behind me and I don’t like to make excuses.

“Hammond has been a great fight city for me; it’s where I won the belt for the first time and it’s where I’m going to reclaim it.”

Straus, who is 8-1 inside a Bellator cage, won’t be giving it up so easy, though.

“Whenever you fight each win means something different and I know this one is incredibly important,” he said. “I want to continue to be a top notch fighter and earn that respect I think I deserve.”

Five Chicago MMA fighters will be in action tonight — including Daniel James (0-0), Eric Correa (2-0), Anthony Gomez (7-2), Lloyd Carter (5-5) and Belal Muhammad (4-0). James and Correa will face off in the first fight of the night.

Munster’s Lance Surma (2-0) will face Darrion Caldwell (3-0), of Rahway, N.J. in the fourth bout tonight. Surma hasn’t fought since a split decision win over Ruddy Gray on Aug. 8, 2012. He won his debut with a TKO in the first round over Anthony Hill on June 2, 2012.

According to tapology.com, Caldwell is a heavy favorite going into the fight gaining 96 percent of the votes. There were 281 predictions as of 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.

Tickets for the event are still available at ticketmaster.com or by visiting the Horseshoe Casino Hammond gift shop.



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