by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The city of Chicago will soon experience the first ever WEC event coming to town, and even better than that, two hometown heroes, Miguel Torres and Jeff Curran, will perform for the crowd on the show. But while Torres and Curran will face different opponents, the war of words between the two bantamweights continues to escalate with a potential showdown between them still lingering for the future.
Comments have been spattered back and forth between Torres and Curran for the past few months. When appearing on MMAWeekly Radio recently, the current bantamweight champion admits he has a lot of respect for Curran, but it’s starting to get personal.
“It wasn’t personal in the beginning. I respect Jeff Curran a lot. We’ve been around the scene, been on multiple cards together for the past eight years,” Torres said on the radio show. “I’ve been at 35 my whole career. Jeff Curran’s got up in weight to 55 for the UFC, he’s fought in the WEC at 145, and he hasn’t had a lot of success and now he’s coming down to 135 to try to take what I’ve got.”
“I totally respect that, he’s a natural 135-pound fighter, but I just don’t like the way he’s going about trying to get a fight. He’s using a lot of harsh words, saying a lot of things about me that I don’t like, I don’t respect too much. So for me it’s a little bit personal. I like it better that way, it’s going to make the fight more interesting.”
Obviously both fighters have tough tests ahead of them on the April 5 WEC 40 show before they could ever get to match up against one another. Curran will face undefeated prospect Joseph Benavidez, who trains with former WEC champion Urijah Faber. While Torres believes Curran has the ability to win the fight, he needs to be careful of the young gun in Benavidez.
“The young guys, they’re real dangerous because they don’t have that fear,” Torres said in reference to Benavidez having never lost a fight. “They don’t have that experience to fear. Curran’s more of a relaxed fighter. He’ll come out and take his time and play his game, and Benavidez is the kind of fighter that’s going to come out 100-percent, balls to the wall, from the beginning to the end. Those styles have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think Benavidez is in a position to do a lot of damage to Curran.”
Regardless of picking who might win the fight, Torres knows that Curran has a formidable challenge ahead of him, and that might be the difference in the bout.
“I think Curran’s going to be ready. He’s training with a top team now, I hear. He has the technique, he has the power, but Benavidez has that mental aspect that Curran don’t have yet. Curran lost that a long time ago,” Torres stated. “Benavidez is going to be tough.”
Curran will face Benavidez on the televised portion of WEC 40 in Chicago, while Torres defends his bantamweight title against Takeya Mizugaki in the main event.