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Mark Currier has been busy preparing for the biggest fight of his young career so far at Bellator 284.

Currier, 25, will be on the Bellator stage Friday night at the Sanford Arena in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the Iowan is looking to make a statement, but he also realizes what it means to be fighting for one of the top promotions in the country.

Currier currently has a one-fight contract with Bellator.

Bellator 284 Odds

Neiman Gracie vs. Goiti Yamauchi +160/-190-178/+144
Valentin Moldavsky vs. Steve Mowry -190/+160 -205/+166
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Bruna Ellen -140/+120-160/+130
Said Sowma vs. Gokhan Saricam +150/-175+130/-160
Austin Vanderford vs. Aaron Jeffery -200/+170-205/+166
Bailey Schoenfelder vs. Mark Currier -1000/+630

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“It’s nerve-wracking,” Currier told Gaming Today. “My third pro fight is Bellator. I have a high chance of catching a lot of eyes, and it’s crazy to think about. I’m not nervous because of who I’m fighting, but of how many people will be watching me, and it can lead to a bigger opportunity.”

Currier (1-1) is taking on Bailey Schoenfelder (2-0). Schoenfelder is the hometown betting favorite with a win in Bellator and the Legacy Fighting Alliance. Currier’s two pro fights have been under North Iowa Fights.

Mark Currier
Mark Currier is featured in Bellator 284 (North Iowa Fights)

“I’ve never been worried about a fight,” he added. “I show up, I fight, I give everything I have. But the amount of things that can come after that fight, that’s what scares me.”

Bellator 284 is ‘Huge Opportunity’

Currier was born in Tacoma, Washington, but grew up in Iowa around Ames and Webster. He now lives in Mason City with his coach Mike Estus, a former Bellator fighter himself and local promoter of North Iowa Fights.

“I moved in with Mike this year, and I wasn’t training before this,” Currier said. “I never really trained. I became a fighter from watching YouTube videos and practicing on a bag. My background is severely shocking to people.”

Currier said he began fighting after being bullied as a kid. He would come home from school with black eyes and bloody noses.

“Then I grew into 6’5’’ and 260 pounds,” Currier laughed. 

After he turned 18, Currier said he couch-surfed and was technically homeless.

“That’s what really brought me into fighting. I was decent at it and I thought maybe I could make money off it,” he said. 

And he still plans on doing that. Currently, he works at the local Pita Pit. His bosses are flexible with his training and fighting schedule and understand that when he’s not making pitas, he’s looking to punch faces.

“Mike and I have agreed the only way to describe me is a true brawler. It scares him and it scares other people, but getting hit in the face excites me,” Currier said. 

Estus said this fight is a huge opportunity for Currier.

“He’s fighting someone who is very popular and a very powerful athletic person,” Estus said. “The odds are against us. We’re not stupid, but we believe in Mark. Everyone is looking at Mark as the old Mark who didn’t train and sat at home and ate Cheetos and shit. But I’ve been on his ass every day like, ‘let’s go.’”

Estus said Currier has lost weight and trimmed up, but more importantly, his confidence has grown.

“He’s just improved massively. I just feel like he’s happier now and growing as a person, and he has learned so much about what it takes to be an athlete.”

Currier agreed that he’s been happier and in turn, been healthier than ever before. He said he was dealing with the loss of his grandfather and a bad breakup earlier this year. 

“I learned to separate it all. I come to the gym to work. I’m here to focus on myself and get better. It’s not that I want to do this, I need to,” Currier said. “A lot of people ask why they can’t do something instead of asking how to do it. So I changed my mentality. I was super depressed. But this has changed everything for me. How can I do better? How can I prove this?”

Currier said, like most fighters, his goal is to make it to the top, whether that be getting an extension from Bellator or fielding other offers that may come with a victory on Friday night.

“I’m only 25. I really got some time. I see myself fighting for five to ten years, but I really have a chance at this,” he said.

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How to Watch Bellator 284

Prelims: 6 p.m. E.T. on YouTube

Main Card: 9 p.m. E.T. on Showtime

Also read: UFC San Diego Odds

About the Author
Gage Miskimen

Gage Miskimen

Gage Miskimen is a journalist from Marion, Iowa, currently working at the Cedar Rapids Gazette. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and was editor of the award-winning Daily Iowan. He also previously worked for the Des Moines Register. Gage is a lifelong fan of combat sports and martial arts.

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