by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
With the UFC opening back up the 155lb weight division next month, a whole bevy of fighters who have been exiled the last two years now have an opportunity to step back up into the limelight. Among those who would be a top candidate for a recall would be Jeff Curran.
Curran, last seen by the majority of fans at UFC 46, has been on a tear the last two years, winning all his bouts since January of 2004. Curran took a big step back recently when he defeated Pride FC veteran Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett via arm lock in just over three minutes in their bout last Friday in King of the Cage.
“I stood with him for a while and he was happy that someone was willing to stand up and fight with him,” said Curran of the early portion of the fight. “We had a good time with the fight. I clinched with him and was able to carry him across the cage and dump him in the corner and he was able to spring right back up. He lifted me up, slammed me and ended up slamming me again to get out of a triangle I was starting to get on pretty good. The next time we hit the mat I swept him and ended up getting on an arm lock, he spun and tried to get out of it, it was just on really tight and that was it.”
Jeff continued, “It was about a three and a half minute fight, it was pretty action packed and pretty entertaining overall. It was one of my funest fights because of the character he is, he was a fun guy to fight. I’m happy with the performance for sure.”
With all going well for Curran against Bennett, the new possibilities that didn’t exist in years prior in both the UFC and Pride are definitely within his reach, even if past circumstances make Curran a bit wary of such a move up.
“It’s really hard for me to make goals because the goals I have I’m relying on other organizations to make them happen. Those are the organizations that haven’t been too supportive of my career,” admitted Jeff. “So I don’t really set any big goals I guess you could say as far as my career goes other than to target some good names and good fights that are going to keep me in the mix in case something comes up. I’m going to be boxing a lot more this year probably than anything. I’ve got a Comcast fight coming up, it’s my second pro boxing fight April 12th so that’s the next thing on the list for me.”
Curran continued, “You know whichever one offers me a nice solid opportunity. I don’t want any given to me, but I want a fair chance. When I fought UFC it was on nine days notice, I was in shape and I was good, but it would be nice to get my head on and know I have a chance at a good future if I just buckle down. If the UFC is going to be the one, if Pride is going to be my opportunity, then it’s Pride. I’d much rather stay in the States because I don’t like to travel too much, I have a wife, dogs, and a business to take care of.”
Speaking of the UFC, Curran’s immediate future has him preparing old friends for their upcoming bouts at UFC 58. “I’m up here (Canada) working with Sam Stout, Mark Hominick and Rob Macdonald. I work with Sammy and Mark a lot when they get closer to defending their titles in TKO, and they decided to make sure I get up here and give them a good week of technical training to get ready for their guys in the UFC. I work side-by-side with Shawn Tompkins and we both give these guys ready to go, then I’m going to be cornering Mark and Sam.
And while he could be on the verge of a breakout year, Curran remains humble and is more than happy to show his appreciation to those who support him. “As far as fans go, I’m just always glad I even have some. I thank anybody that cares about my career, spends any time reading the smallest little article on me, that’s really cool and to have people out there that I don’t know interested in my career, so thanks to those guys.”
“As far as sponsors go, I had three people step up and really take care of me, I’d like to thank those guys, I didn’t have to beg or sell myself, the just kind of stepped in. NoGi Industries, Chris Brennan’s clothing company that’s really taken off, MMAWarehouse.com and LunchboxTattoo.com, that’s my buddy’s tattoo shop. Those guys chipped in and did their part and helped me stretch it out a little bit and make a little bit of success off the show. I want to get some thanks in for Monte Cox also. I thank my sponsors all the time and everybody gets thanked but him. So thanks to him for giving me the opportunity to fight a name like Krazy Horse and for getting me on the PPV.” concluded Jeff.