Everyone has heard the old saying, “I could beat him up with my hand tied behind my back.” Well, Jeff Curran recently had to put that phrase to use, literally. He spent much of the third round of his fight against David Love with only one good arm.
Curran fought Love in a bantamweight fight on a recent XFO show, and after taking several big shots to his surgically repaired arm earlier in the fight, something gave way in the third round. Soon enough, the former WEC fighter was almost ready to exit the fight.
“Second round I really picked it up on him. Third round was really good, but I had to fight pretty much with one hand cause my right arm was kind of out of commission,” Curran explained in an interview with MMAWeekly.com.
“Every time I get hit in the arm, my hand goes numb and I kind of lose function of my arm. On top of that, I have this crazy pain, so I took cumulative shots through the first couple rounds where I was blocking kicks and he was throwing them pretty hard. I landed a right hand in the third round and I actually called a time out, and I turned and looked at my corner. It was really quick, like a few seconds, but I said, ‘I’m done, I’m done,’ and he looked at me and was like, ‘What are you doing?’ The ref was like, ‘What are you doing?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m good.’ I just went out and fought with one hand.”
The injury to Curran’s right arm comes from a pro wrestling match he did in Japan years ago with Rich Clementi. He blocked a high kick, which snapped his arm in two. He had a plate inserted into his arm and has been dealing with the problems ever since.
That was nine years ago.
After the fight against Love, in which Curran won by unanimous decision, he went to the doctor to get the injury checked out. That’s when he found out the problems he was having went much deeper than just a plate in his arm.
“They found out through neurological tests that my ulna nerve is pinched at my elbow joint, and it’s also hung up in the plate that I have, so that’s what’s causing this numbness,” Curran explained. “They have to go in and re-position this nerve, which is the thickness of a pin that runs up your arm, and they’re going to remove this plate and shave my bone down, stitch me up and hope for the best.”
Curran will go in for surgery on Dec. 28 and then the rehab process begins. Doctors anticipate Curran being out for anywhere between six to eight months, but he hopes to be ready for training on the shorter end of that scale.
He also plans on picking up another win and then making a call to UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby.
“I plan on being back to full training by June,” said Curran. “I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but I’m hoping to do the World Championships in July for jiu-jitsu, and then do one more fight for MMA to hopefully win and then talk to the UFC about going back home.”
Curran admits that he always found a way to fight through the pain and numbness he felt in his arm, but now realizes the mistakes that has caused him to make. He’s hoping this latest surgery gives him a new lease on his fighting life.
“I never really thought that my arm played that much of a role, but now that I see the habits that I developed training and protecting it, less sparring because of the pain, and all that, not having training partners throw head kicks on that side, and it was a little bit of a bump in the road to slow me down,” he stated.
The goal for Curran is to get back into training in mid-2011 and then work his way into the new UFC bantamweight division before the close of the year.