jeff-curran-4.jpgSome would say what Jeff Curran is embarking on is ambitious. Others might call it downright nuts.

At 35, Curran (35-15-1) has fought under just about every major MMA banner imaginable, including the UFC, WEC, Bellator, Strikeforce, PRIDE, the IFL and others. But next week, the suburban Chicago-based Curran returns to the promotion that gave him his MMA start: Extreme Challenge, one of the longest-running promotions in MMA.

But the part some may find to be a little crazy is that Curran will do it at flyweight.

Fighters drop weight classes all the time, of course. And given Curran’s been at bantamweight for three years, dropping down, on the surface, doesn’t seem that big of a deal. But consider that he’s a longtime featherweight who also has fought at lightweight as recently as November 2009, and it’s easy to raise an eyebrow at the prospect of him getting down to 125 pounds.

After all, the dude’s nickname is “Big Frog.” But now, as he says, he’s not so big at all.

“At 35 years old, it isn’t easy to just change lifestyle and eating habits to venture into the unknown,” Curran told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “But I am, and I’m loving it – 125 is where I belonged my whole career, I believe. I’m really little now.”

Curran’s flyweight debut takes place May 3 as part of Extreme Challenge 227 in Bettendorf, Iowa. He fights Josh Killion (8-4), a 20-year-old Midwesterner who is unbeaten at flyweight and has won four straight.

To put No. 227 in perspective for Extreme Challenge, longtime manager Monte Cox’s promotion, Curran’s first pro fight was in 1998 at Extreme Challenge 13. But while Curran is returning to his roots for this one, he’s set a goal of this just being the first step on his road back to the UFC.

At UFC 46 more than nine years ago, Curran debuted in the UFC and dropped a decision to future welterweight champion Matt Serra in a lightweight bout. He then leapfrogged, appropriately, through regional shows big and small, a loss to Hatsu Hioki for PRIDE and then, ultimately, into the WEC.

There, he earned a quick shot at featherweight champ Urijah Faber‘s belt. A submission loss in the title fight was the start of a rough four-fight skid and his release. By the time he had gone 4-1 away from Zuffa, the WEC had merged into the UFC, and Curran got a call to return. But losses to Scott Jorgensen and Johnny Eduardo again sent him packing.

After that, he put a plan in place to make a run at 125 pounds, a plan that nearly went right off the rails before it even could get started.

“The initial cut was going great in the early summer (2012) before needing to undergo hand surgery on each of my hands,” Curran said. “That was a big setback. Then the day I returned to training three months later, I ruptured my LCL (lateral collateral ligament) in my knee. It was a huge test of my commitment to even want to fight again, to be honest. That lasted about a day. Then I just began to diet and do what I could until healed.”

Curran said UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, who handles the company’s lighter weight classes, knows his intentions and knows he wants to go on a run and earn his way back into the company. That’s where he believes he should be.

“I belong there, 100 percent,” he said.

But he won’t keep him on speed dial after each fight. Instead, Curran plans to just do the work and believes the ultimate goal then will take care of itself.

“I need impressive wins to prove that the weight class is a place I can get back to finishing fights,” Curran said. “I’ll let my results do the talking this time. The UFC will need a kingpin like me in the division to thicken it up.”

Not fighting since May 2012, when he lost a decision to Eduardo, doesn’t mean Curran has been sitting idle. Far from it. His MMA school in Crystal Lake, Ill., has plenty of fighters to keep him busy coaching and mentoring and cornering, including his cousin, Bellator featherweight champ Pat Curran, Bart Palaszewski and Felice Herrig.

And to top it off, a documentary about his life in the fight game is in progress. “Martial Life” will wrap this summer. Curran said the documentary tracks him for six weeks during his first venture into the flyweight ranks, and it also includes his cornering and coaching work for Team Curran fighters.

“It will be a two-hour film, from XFC to Bellator, the UFC and local shows – all in middle of my training and weight cut,” Curran said. “It’s my life summed up. It’s an intimate look into my life and my childhood and how and why I do what I do. It’s going to be great.”

But perhaps it’s the potential sequel he would be most interested in – one that would culminate with one more crack at the UFC in the latter stages of his fighting career.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Ray Borg hopes UFC 207 win over Louis Smolka kickstarts run to champ Demetrious Johnson

  • 22 days ago
  • 20 views

LAS VEGAS – It’s been a bizarre latter half of 2016 for Ray Borg, and he’s hoping to have a good end to the calendar year ahead of a fresh start in 2017. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC 207's Dong Hyun Kim still calling out Demian Maia, hopes to steal title shot

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

LAS VEGAS – For a guy whose last three fights were marred by opponent changes and withdrawals, a short-notice booking with oft-injured opponent would be cause for concern.Filed under: Featured Videos read news >>

'UFC 207 Embedded,' No. 4 and 5: Fight night draws near and Garbrandt and Cruz are fired up

  • 22 days ago
  • 74 views

The UFC returns to Las Vegas this week for UFC 207, and the organization has rolled out the “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Friday’s pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena.Filed under: News, UFC, read news >>

UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey weigh-in results

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

Weigh in results for UFC 207, headlined by championship fight between Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey and airs live on Pay-Per-View from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, December 30 at 10pm E read news >>

Nunes, Rousey, and the UFC’s New Normal | FIGHTLAND

  • 23 days ago
  • 3 views

Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC “She’s Back.” The promotion for UFC 207 splashed this phrase across every piece of promotional material, supplemented by “Fear the Return,” and laid it over headshots read news >>

Last Minute Prop Bets and Odds for UFC 207: Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 42 views

Get money by betting on these various props for UFC 207: Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey. read news >>

Knockout Radio Podcast: Johny Hendricks, Justin Gaethje, Ray Sefo, and UFC 207 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 13 views

Join Knockout Radio for their Dec. 28 podcast as Randy Harris and the crew talk with Johny Hendricks, Justin Gaethje, and Ray Sefo, as well as preview UFC 207. read news >>

Nunes vs. Rousey: Weigh-In Info, Top Comments Before UFC 207

  • 22 days ago
  • 127 views

The weigh-ins are over, the main event is official, the only thing left to do is get Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey in the Octagon to fight for the bantamweight title Friday night. Both Nunes and Rous read news >>

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 92 – Las Vegas: UFC 207 preview

  • 22 days ago
  • 10 views

Episode No. 92 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast, featuring a UFC 207 preview, is now available for streaming and download.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 207 play-by-play and live results (7:30 p.m. ET)

  • 22 days ago
  • 164 views

LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s UFC 207 event, and you can join us for live play-by-play and official results beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT).Filed under: N read news >>