Jeff Curran and David Love (Photo courtesy of tomba-images)
Jeff Curran is a man who has no quit in him. He’s faced some of the best fighters in the world and he’s worked hard his entire life. He’s experienced success and endured through tough losses.
The UFC and WEC veteran is coming off a hard fought victory over David Love and is looking to build up some momentum.
“Training has been awesome. I was able to get out of town for almost a couple weeks to train with American Top Team and focus on myself at the beginning of my camp. That was a huge kickstart for me,” said Curran. “Since being back home it was business as usual. The best training I can ask for here at Team Curran.”
Curran had surgery on his right arm back in December to repair an injury he suffered nine years ago in a Japanese mma tag team match with Rich Clementi. In that fight Curran blocked a high kick from Hiroki Kotani that broke his arm in two. A plate was inserted and he has been experiencing problems ever since.
“My post surgery results are as good as I could expect. I haven’t had any set backs in training due to it like I had in the past, so this is a good sign.”
This Friday Curran is scheduled to face Billy Vaughan in the main event of XFO 39. Vaughan is a last-second replacement for Joe Pearson, who had to withdrawal after being involved in a car accident recently.
“I am disappointed because I had to pull out last year for the Outdoor War because of an injury and timing was very bad. So I feel that we are destined not to fight,” commented Curran. “I wish Joe and his family a good recovery and I know that if it were truly up to him he would be in the cage with me this Friday. Family comes first.”
Vaughan is a Midwest fighter who has been competing since 2005. He is coming off a first-round submission loss to Jorge Gurgel when Strikeforce was in Columbus, Ohio.
“Billy is one of those guys who is dangerous because he is in every fight grinding it out. He seems to punch hard and have good wrestling. This fight isn’t about Billy though. This fight is about me living up to my own expectations and showing him and the world that we live on different tiers in the sport. He just so happens to be the guy standing in the way of my next stage in life.”
Losing is a part of any sport. Some of the best fighters in the world have suffered setbacks at one point in their careers. So what would a loss to Billy Vaughan mean to the “Big Frog?”
“A loss to Billy would mean that he would become the man who retired me from my fight career. It would shatter my belief in myself to be honest, but I imagine I would still go on with life,” revealed Curran. “However, I respect Billy for taking the fight, but I don’t plan to give him the credit of being the one who sent me crying into retirement.”
For Curran, this is one of the most important fights of his career. There’s a lot pressure on him to not only win, but also win impressively. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt feels the pressure, but takes it in stride with a renewed confidence.
“I love pressure. I really want to be the exciting fighter I know I am. Friday this is my plan. I don’t think I ever have boring fights to be honest, but I want to finish my opponents impressively.”
Getting a victory is paramount if Curran is to fulfill his goal of returning to the Octagon. He plans to put on an exciting fight, finish strong, and regain the attention of the UFC.
“Nothing is for certain. I have had some verbal interest if I can win impressively. They don’t want to sign me if I am dragging out decisions,” he explained. “It’s time to show some finishing ability like I did in most of my career. Then, yes, I am sure that the UFC will add me into the mix at bantamweight and we can get this party started.”
Curran has been fighting since 1999 and is credited with 49 professional fights under his belt. He has won championships and fought all over the world. For many, that can be seen as a long and fulfilling career. So how much longer does Curran see himself fighting?
“We can answer this question more after this fight. One day at a time. I hope for another decade.”
Every fighter eventually leaves the sport in his or her own way. If and when that day comes, this is how the “Big Frog” would want to be remembered.
“I would want my fans to know that I am a true fighter. I lived the life and committed myself my entire career and not many people do that. I fought for my family, friends, and my students, but also fought for honor and pride of the martial arts I train. Something a lot of people have missed along the way.”
Jeff Curran is one of the hardest working fighters today. He has earned everything he has through blood, sweat, and maintaining a disciplined approach to life. At XFO 39, Curran has the opportunity to reinvent himself and show everyone he still has much to achieve in this sport.
“I want to say a special thanks to my wife Sarah for reminding me what it means to not give up on something you believe in. I want my fans to know that I am appreciative of all their support over the years and I am not done yet. Friday night is the beginning of a new chapter; hell, a new book in my life, and it’s time to make the real noise I was meant to in this sport. I love you all!”