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Tuesday, Nov 22, 2005

Curran Wins North American Shooto Title, Hopes Japan Will Elude No More

Curran Wins North American Shooto Title, Hopes Japan Will Elude No More
By Kelsey Mowatt

Jeff Curran

Jeff Curran defeated Antonio Carvalho for the 145-pound North American Shooto Championship Saturday night in Hammond, Indiana at the Ironheart Championship, which is affiliated with and sanctioned by the Japanese MMA organization Shooto. Curran managed to secure the championship by majority decision over Carvalho in an extremely competitive match. Now, the talented fighter is hoping the Japanese arm of Shooto will finally take notice of him.

Since his UFC 46 loss to Matt Serra by unanimous decision, Curran has defeated eight opponents in a row, besting the likes of Dan Swift, Masahiro Oishi, Steve Kinnison and now Antonio Carvalho. Losing to Curran, however, is nothing to be ashamed of as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Professor Pedro Sauer also has notable victories over Baret Yoshida, Jeremy Bolt and Ryan Ackerman. Curran also went the distance against top-ranked fighter Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, at SuperBrawl 29 in 2003, only to lose by unanimous decision. Despite this record and now winning the Shooto title, Curran continues to remain pessimistic about his immediate MMA career, and his likelihood of competing on the world’s bigger events.

"Shooto has done nothing but ignore me," explains Curran. "I’ve done well against other Shooto guys so I got a position to fight against Antonio. I’m a threat to them, there’s no one they have that wouldn’t have a tough time against me. I can’t keep putting my body through the training for $1,000 dollars, I’m kind of at a crossroads now, I want to fight MMA but the shows aren’t here for smaller guys, that’s why I turned to boxing. I mean look at this last fight against Antonio, there was no hype, we are both jiu-jitsu black belts, two of the best fighters in the 145-pound division and no one cared."

Frustrated with the lack of interest from Japanese MMA organizations or the larger North American promotions, Curran tried his hand at professional boxing this past summer. Turning pro after only five amateur fights, Curran managed to win by knockout in his professional boxing debut. In the hopes that the UFC might in fact re-introduce a lightweight division at some point, Curran acknowledged he would be willing to step up a weight class to fight for the organization.

"I wouldn’t put my North American Shooto title in front of fighting for the UFC. I would need about four months notice to bulk up with just muscle to get ready, but I would do it if an organization like that invested in me. Some of the best fighters to watch are the smaller guys, I mean look at that Kevin Jordan fight this weekend, you don’t see 145, 135 pound guys laying on each other out of breath doing nothing. Let’s hope the UFC does it, K-1’s doing it, Bushido, it doesn’t make sense for them not to do it."

To find out more about Curran’s fight with Canadian Carvalho, check out The Northern Touch below.

The Northern Touch:
News and Notes from Canadian MMA

By Kelsey Mowatt

Carvalho and Curran Battle it Out for America’s Shooto SLW Championship

UFC 46 "Super Natural" veteran Jeff Curran defeated Canadian Team Shah Franco fighter Antonio Carvalho by majority decision this past Saturday, earning Curran the 145-pound Shooto Championship for the North American region. By all accounts the fight between the pair of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts was extremely close, with one judge declaring it a draw, and the other two awarding it to Curran. The first portion of the fight saw the fighters standing and exchanging mostly from the clinch, with the latter half of the contest fought on the ground. With a slight edge in the exchanges from the clinch, and through striking and remaining active in his guard, Curran was awarded the victory.

"It was a very tense fight for sure," reported previously undefeated Carvalho. "The first round was pretty much us working in the clinch and trying to get an advantage over each other. It was more of a feeling out round. I really didn’t know what to expect from Curran so I was also a little too cautious, which meant that the round wasn’t very exciting for the fans. The second and third round we opened up more and it was pretty much a ground war. I certainly know that the third round was my strongest round in the fight."

Click here to continue the article

From DSE/Pride:

Pride Last Chance

LOS ANGELES, CA – PRIDE Fighting and DIRECTV present your "Last Chance" to see the historical 2005 middleweight tournament! Premiering November 21st, this last chance promotion runs until November 28th on All Day Ticket (6:00am ET to 6:00pm ET) on Channel 122.

PRIDE FIGHTING’S 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament spanned three events … TOTAL ELIMINATION (opening round), CRITICAL COUNTDOWN (Second Round) and FINAL CONFLICT (Semi-Finals and Finals). Featuring a collection of some of the world’s elite middleweights (including Wanderlei Silva, Kazushi Sakuraba, Quinton Jackson, and Shogun Rua), DIRECTV’s "Last Chance" features all of the tournament bouts from these events.

Tournament Matches:
(Shown in order from first to last)

Kevin Randleman (USA) vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura (Japan)
Dean Lister (USA) vs. Ricardo Arona (Brazil)
Igor Vovchanchyn (Ukraine) vs. Yuki Kondo (Japan)
Vitor Belfort (Brazil) vs. Alistair Overeem (Holland)
Dan Henderson (USA) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Brazil)
Kazushi Sakuraba (Japan) vs. Yoon Dong Sik (Korea)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (USA) vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (Brazil)
Wanderlei Silva (Brazil) vs. Hidehiko Yoshida (Japan)

(Also featured will be the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, and Finals of the Tournament)

This is your last chance to check out PRIDE Fighting’s 2005 Middleweight Tournament! Sixteen fighters began, only one will be champion! This last chance opportunity is available from November 21st to November 28th on ALL DAY TICKET. Don’t miss all the knockouts, slams, and submissions, as the world’s biggest and best mixed martial artists go head to head!

For DIRECTV’s schedule, please click here.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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