Monday, Feb 14, 2011
Jeff Curran Planning to Fight in May, Gunning for UFC Return
By Kelsey Mowatt
It’s been seven years since Jeff Curran stepped into the Octagon, and after competing in various notable organizations like Strikeforce, Bellator FC and World Extreme Cagefighting since, the 33 year-old-fighter is determined to make his UFC return in 2011. Of course, lots has changed since Curran lost a lightweight bout by unanimous decision to Matt Serra at UFC 46, in January, 2004. Not only can Curran compete for the UFC at a weight much more suited for his natural frame, the sport’s popularity has exploded, and he could do so with more fanfare and media coverage. In other words, it’s no wonder the accomplished vet is eager to become a UFC bantamweight.
“I don’t deal with them directly right now. I’m too much of an annoyance; I’d call them every day,” Curran told FCF, while discussing the prospect of returning to the UFC. “I just handed that over to management and my manager from Sucker Punch, Brian, he’s in touch with them, Monte Cox is in touch with them too; Sean Shelby has made it clear I’m on their radar to get picked back up.”
While Curran (32-13-1) is one of the United States most experienced bantamweight fighters and has gone 3-1 in his last four bouts, “The Big Frog” is also coming off a stint in the WEC where he dropped four straight fights. The Illinois fighter understands that another win or two outside the Zuffa organization is in order, before he’s invited back.
“I’ve got some instructions though, I have to win and I have to win impressively,” said Curran. “I have to show that I’m not slowing down with age, experience and all that. I have to get back to a finishing ratio.”
Of course, often in MMA entertaining fans is just as important as winning, and stopping opponents in memorable fashion is an effective way to secure high profile bouts.
“I want to show them that I can finish fights,” said the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, when asked how he would like to present himself to mainstream fans who may not be familiar with his career to date. “I don’t know where in my career I started becoming so cautious. I think maybe it was after having kids. I think maybe it was after having some really tough bouts with some high level guys, just squeaking by.
“It’s a scary thing when you’re afraid of losing everything,” Curran added. “When you’re climbing up, you’re not afraid of taking risks because you’re trying to prove yourself. This happens with a lot of experienced fighters, you think that if you play it safe, you can squeak by.”
Curran informed FCF that up next, he’ll likely fight for his own Xtreme Fighting Organization, against an opponent yet to be determined. Before that can happen, however, Curran continues to recover from the surgery his right arm required, following his unanimous decision win over David Love in December.
“Basically the surgery was supposed to be a two hour, outpatient, deal where they go in and move the plate,” said Curran. “Keep in mind though that I’ve had this plate in for about eight years, and a lot of bone grew up around it, so the doctor took a little over five hours to extract the plate…I’m probably not a hundred percent strength wise, but I’m training pretty hard. I’m planning on fighting in May; I don’t want to rest. I want to get out there as fast as I can and take one more step to getting back in the UFC.”
Recently, Curran helped another veteran take his first step in a comeback, training former UFC champion Jens Pulver prior to a first round, submission win over Mike Lindquist at XFO 38 in January. The win was Pulver’s first since 2007.
“Well as a friend and fan of him, I’m so honoured that myself and my coaching staff could be part of what’s a positive step in the right direction, to break his curse.” said Curran when asked about his time helping prepare Pulver. “One of the big things too was the confidence it gave me in what my system’s all about, with my team, and I got to see the changes in Jens…I feel like we got to be part of bringing out the best in Jens.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 2:47 pm