by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Xtreme Fighting Organization held its 25th show this past weekend and was scheduled to be headlined by a match between Bart Palaszewski and Eric Wisely. Unfortunately, the Jeff Curran promoted event was left without a main event when Palaszewski’s opponent failed to report at the weigh-ins.
“Supposedly his opponent’s blood work came back and didn’t meet requirements so he had to reschedule a new test. We never heard back from him two days before the show. Our contact through him was Mark Long, who is usually reliable, but they definitely screwed us out of a great main event,” stated a disappointed Curran.
“We didn’t even get a phone call. The athletic commission doesn’t allow last minute replacements either, so we were kind of in a situation where we just had to cancel the deal.”
Despite the main event setback, the XFO moved forward with the show. The following day marked the grand opening of the new Curran Martial Arts Academy in Crystal Lake, Ill. The 24,000-square-foot training center houses a brand new ring, cage, state of the art equipment, and two mega-sized training floors.
“It was awesome; had about 1,000 people show up throughout the day,” said Curran. “We had some good demonstrations; Nate Mohr and I grappled for the audience for about 30 minutes. Then (recent Ultimate Fighter winner) Amir Sadollah and I went at it. It was great.”
In addition to the grand opening, Curran announced the same day that he was moving down in weight class from 145 pounds to 135. He will now join the ranks of many bantamweight stand-outs including WEC champion Miguel Torres, Manny Tapia, Brian Bowles, and Will Ribeiro.
“That division is stacked. I love the level of competition and quite honestly, although I competed most of my career at lightweight and featherweight, I feel it’s a better fit for my style,” said Curran. “I am a very technical paced fighter; I am a different style fighter than Urijah (Faber), whose style I feel is a great match for even bigger guys. I just feel since I am 145 pounds before I weigh-in, naturally, I can be a good, strong 135 guy. The talent pool at that weight is flat out awesome too.
“I won’t have any problem with the weight cut at all. My diet and nutrition line will help me stay on track. That’s what I designed it for,” added Curran.
The 135-pound fighters have garnered more attention in the last few years and the WEC is leading the way as the premiere organization for lighter weight athletes to fight for in the U.S. Will moving down to bantamweight present a bigger challenge for Curran?
“I see it being more technical if anything because I feel guys that small, we have always had to deal with size issues; always have to deal with being the smaller guy on the mat. It teaches you to be more technical and learn to survive, not to mention the speed factor as well,” commented the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
Jeff Curran has one fight remaining with the WEC and is currently in negotiations to extend his contract. The “Big Frog” is expected to fight on the Dec. 3 card, but no opponent has been officially announced.
“I am ready to make a huge impact. I am feeling really game and ready to go out and beat some serious ass. It’s been a rough 7-8 months. Time to pick up the pace.”