by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
After a very tough stint in the WEC, Jeff Curran is ready to get back into the win column. The Illinois resident makes his Strikeforce debut Saturday night in suburban Chicago. Curran recently signed a two-fight, non-exclusive contract with the San Jose, Calif.-based organization.
Originally scheduled to face Sam Thao, Curran will now take on late replacement Dustin Neace.
“First of all, the state of Illinois didn’t seem he was reputable enough and not enough fights,” Curran said of Thao. “So they looked further into it and saw he had a pending suspension with another state. We canceled it right then to look elsewhere.”
A veteran of over 30 fights, Neace has fought frequently since starting his career back in 2006.
“He has decent BJJ according to his record, winning 14 by subs. But, on top of that, he has 30 fights against a lot of good guys, so he is game; not afraid to step in and take a challenge, which is what I want,” commented Curran.
Having lost his last four fights to a who’s who list of tough opposition, Curran was released by the WEC. Looking forward, he is excited to fight in front of his hometown.
“It’s full circle man. I couldn’t be happier than to do this in my hometown in front of all my close friends, family, students, and fans.”
After his fight this Saturday, the “Big Frog” will step into the cage again on Dec. 5. He will headline XFO 34 against Tomohiko Hori, a veteran of ZST and DEEP in Japan.
“XFO is my baby and I can’t wait to help bring the show to the next level with this fight. It’s really a high level bantamweight match-up that is legit enough to be in any large promotion out there.
“He is dangerous,” he said of Hori. “He trains with (Takeya) Mizugaki and he is a great striker with good BJJ defense and wrestling. This is exactly what the doctor ordered.”
If Curran is successful in his upcoming fights, it could lead to a re-entry into the WEC.
“I am hoping for early to mid-2010 latest. If all goes as planned I will discuss this mid-December with the matchmaker.”
Jeff Curran is poised to rebound strong and get back into the win column. He understands what’s at stake and he still has something to prove.
“If I can’t win these next two fights, I don’t belong in the sport anymore. I want to show that not only I belong, but that I will thrive in the division at the top levels for years to come. I am done losing; done letting judges decide my fate. I will do everything and anything possible to get back to the winning streak that we are all used to. Stay tuned.”