Curran has invested his prize money in his craft. | Photo: Dave
Curran has won two $100,000 Bellator tournament prizes.
What’s he doing with all that dough? Not much. He bought a used
car, but other than that, he’s using the money to focus on MMA full
“Financially I’m able to put all of my time and focus into the gym
now,” Curran said during a “Savage Dog
Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “That’s what I
wanted. That was my goal. It’s really helping me evolve as a
Curran completed his first run through a Bellator tournament in
2010. He defeated Mike Ricci,
Huerta and Toby Imada to
win the season two lightweight tournament. Then to capture the 2011
Summer Series featherweight field, he beat Luis
Palomino, Ronnie Mann
Sandro. In both tournaments he won three fights in three
successive months -- a difficult task, to say the least.
“You’ve got to be really smart with your game plan,” Curran
explained. “You’ve got to be very cautious too because you don’t
want to get an injury in the first round. If you go in there and
have a war and come out with a broken nose or a cut, now you have
to do a training camp with that injury and then go into that next
round with that injury. That’s the worst part about the tournament
format, but I really like the format because you stay busy. You’re
active. You don’t have much of a break. I really think you evolve
as a fighter. You really see your level jump through that whole
training camp and throughout the fights.”
Curran’s progression to this point hit its peak when he knocked out
Sandro with a fantastic head kick.
“I watched a lot of footage on him, especially his last two fights
in the tournament,” Curran said. “When he gets in exchanges, he
starts swinging really wild, throws really heavy shots, but his
chin’s wide open in the air. He really exposes himself that way.
Especially when he’s bobbing and weaving or slipping punches, his
hands aren’t by his chin. … We did notice that in his previous
fights, but especially in the first round of our fight, I did
notice he was dropping his hands a lot. He wasn’t protecting
himself very well. I ended it with that head kick. I just timed it
It was a signature finish for the 23-year-old, who has won seven of
his last eight fights. Perhaps more importantly, by beating another
quality opponent like Sandro, Curran has entered the discussion
when it comes to the top featherweights in the world.
“I definitely see myself hanging with the top featherweights if not
beating them,” he said. “I definitely believe that I’m top five,
top 10 in the world. My goal is to be number one. I’m going to keep
going until I’m the best.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:21:00).