In “Loser Walks” Bout With Striker Johnny Eduardo, Jeff Curran Hoping to Test His Stand-Up
By Kelsey Mowatt
After putting together a 4-1 record to earn his way back into the Zuffa organization, veteran Jeff “The Big Frog” Curran finds himself in the latest ‘must win situation’ of his accomplished 15 year career. According to the bantamweight, as a result of his unanimous decision loss to Scott Jorgensen at UFC 137 in October, a loss to Johnny Eduardo on May 15th could end the fighter’s latest UFC run.
“They’re obviously not giving me a scrub. They’ve given me a veteran like Eduardo and they’re telling us both the loser walks,” Curran informed FCF while discussing his upcoming UFC on FUEL TV 3 bout. “It’s kind of like a chance for them to clean up the division a little bit and get rid of somebody who’s not going to be competitive at the upper levels.”
In Eduardo, Curran will face a fighter who had won 11 straight fights, until he dropped a unanimous decision to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 134 last August. The bout was the 33 year-old Brazilian’s Octagon debut.
“I knew about his recent fight with Raphael, and when it was presented it to me, it was kind of in passing,” the BJJ black belt said about the Black House fighter. “They thought for once it would be a good idea to get somebody who doesn’t just want to take me down and hold me for three rounds. So I was pretty excited about the match-up because it’s a change of pace stylistically.”
Eduardo has certainly demonstrated a propensity for finishing fights, as eight of the experienced striker’s last ten wins have come via submission or stoppage.
“I’m not opposed to taking him down either,” Curran said about Eduardo (25-9), who has won numerous Muay Thai titles during his career. “I’d like to be on top a little during the fight, but I’m also looking to test my stand-up against someone of his calibre. Hopefully it goes my way. So far I haven’t been outclassed on my feet so it will be a good challenge for me.”
“Should he decide to shoot on me I don’t think I’ll feel that wrestling pressure on the ground,” Curran (33-14) added about Eduardo, who is listed as a BJJ purple belt. “It should be more of an interesting jiu-jitsu exchange and might bring out the best in me too. I think it’s a good match-up all across the board.”
By the time Curran faces Eduardo next month in Fairfax, Virginia, nearly seven months will have expired since his aforementioned UD loss to Jorgensen.
“He clearly won by today’s judging standards,” said Curran, when asked to reflect on his bout with the noted bantamweight and decorated wrestler. “Until the third round I don’t think I ever took a punch. I thought he was going to stand and trade with me more and he didn’t. So I was a little bit upset with how that went.”
“I’m just comfortable on my back and I’m a victim of my own habits,” Curran furthered. “The biggest thing was how I prepared. I prepared to let him in on my legs and try to wear him down, and he’s a step ahead of me in the wrestling game, so those little nuances add up. I should have been sprawling and trying to keep my distance. That was a strategy error on my end.”
And while Curran appears certain that a loss to Eduardo will end his tenure with the promotion, what would a win possibly lead to?
“After Eduardo, I don’t know, I guess I sit back and see who they want,” the 34 year-old-fighter said. “Coming off a win I’d like to fight someone else coming off a win, like maybe a rematch with Jorgensen, or maybe a rematch with someone I dropped a loss to in the WEC.”