Following a year layoff, former UFC 135-pound veteran Jeff “Big Frog” Curran was able to return to MMA with a win this past May at a new weight.
“That’s a long time to be off when you’re at the experience level that I’m at,” said Curran. “I was starting to get really antsy and thankfully we were able to lock down a fight with Extreme Challenge so I could make my debut at 125 pounds.
“It felt awesome to get back into a real serious training camp and get out there and fight. A lot of people doubted that I could make the weight, and when I weighed in and made it, I just felt like I was finally back in the game.”
Curran admits the time off may have affected his performance a little, but overall he was effective in getting a unanimous decision over a fighter who had been previously undefeated at 125 pounds, Joshua Killion.
“I had a little ring rust on me, but I train all the time, so it wasn’t so bad,” said Curran. “Striking-wise, I felt slow. I felt a little sluggish and maybe bloated from the rehydration.
“From a grappling standpoint, I felt great, (even though) my grip burned out a little bit. I had his back the majority of the time we were on the ground and I had good positioning and was digging for chokes, but by round three my grip was just so bad. I actually had the choke locked in and he was about to tap out, but I ran out of time.”
Following back-to-back losses in the UFC, Curran (34-15) is looking to win his second straight fight when he faces Pedro Munhoz (8-0) in a 135-pound title fight at RFA 9 on Aug. 16 at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles.
“I think it makes sense to put somebody like me against someone like Munhoz, who holds all the qualities of being another contender and a future UFC prospect. So it’s a great match-up in that respect,” said Curran.
“Stylistically, I think we both bring it. I don’t think either one of us is going to out-class the other in any area of the game, which should make for an exciting fight.”
At this point in his career, Curran told MMAWeekly.com that he’s got to stay loose both inside and outside the cage if he’s going to rebuild his career and get back to the UFC for one last run.
“I know in my head what I have to do and that is let myself go a little bit and just relax, go out and have fun and try to take the pressure off always thinking that every fight is my last one and is the one that’s going to send me back to the UFC,” he said.
“I just need to take the pressure off and just fight because I love it and hope it pays off in the end.”
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