Jeff Curran Holding Out For UFC Bout
By Kelsey Mowatt, photo courtesy Team Curran
For some time now, Jeff Curran hasn’t hid the fact that he’s gunning to get another bout under the Zuffa banner, particularly since World Extreme Cagefighting was merged into the Ultimate Fighting Championship last year. The accomplished veteran left the WEC in 2009 having dropped four straight bouts, and although the defeats came against several of the defunct promotion’s top competitors, Curran is still eager to demonstrate that he belongs in the world’s best bantamweight division. With his recent, unanimous decision win over Billy Vaughan on May 13th, Curran has now gone 4-1 since exiting from the WEC, and his desire to return to the Octagon is as fervent as ever.
“I’m going to stick to my guns for now and say that it’s either going to be the UFC or I’m going to be done,” the 33 year-old Curran told FCF. “The fate of my career I’m leaving in the hands of Sean Shelby and Joe Silva right now. I know they want me back; I’ve talked to them and I know my management has talked to them; they want to have me on the roster but they have a few extra people in their bantamweight division than they have room for. So until some people start getting cut there’s no room for me.”
“This is kind of my last go around,” Curran added, who has been competing professionally since 1998. “This is my last chance to really do it right; if I don’t make it to the high levels of being in the UFC I don’t really want to fight. I don’t want to fight on these mid-tier shows and try to prove myself, let these up-and-comers try to have their launching pad with me. I don’t want that.”
Since stopping Dustin Neace at Strikeforce and M-1 Global’s “Fedor vs. Rogers” event in November, 2009, Curran’s other three victories have come while competing for the Xtreme Fighting Organization, the fighter’s own promotion. According to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, the days of fighting at his own events are now over.
“I’m not going to fight on my own shows anymore,” Curran said. “One, my show needs my attention; my partners need my help, and two it’s just too stressful. Look at this last fight I had, I fought on the main event of my own show but I also had five other people that I’m watching from far away, screaming at, stressing out, helping them warm up. I’m not even thinking about my own fight, not to mention that I’m watching the gate, hoping we get enough walk up to cover the expenses…you show me a fighter that’s doing that and fighting at their best I’d be interested to meet him.”
Despite the distractions, Curran did score his 33rd professional victory at XFO 39 on May 13th, by earning a decision win over the aforementioned Vaughan.
“As far as my performance, I’d say it was up there,” Curran (33-13) noted. “On a scale of one to ten I’d say it was a seven or eight overall. As far as my expectation for myself, I’d say it was little lower than that as I thought I was going to finish the fight off. Couple missed opportunities; I went for quite a few submissions, a few solid ones, but he was surviving you know?”
While Curran waits to see what materializes next in his career, his immediate attention will turn to Jens Pulver, who the veteran fighter has once again helped prepare for his bout this Friday in Kansas City.
“He’s been working really hard,” said Curran about Pulver, who will face Brian Davidson at Titan FC 18 tomorrow. “He’s 143 pounds today and weighs in tomorrow at 1:40 (Thursday). He’s really lean; the last couple of workouts his hands have been really fast, his takedowns are on point, his power is there, he’s defending submissions, catching submissions, so hopefully he gets this third win in dominant fashion and people can start believing in him as a high level fighter again.”