by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Patrick Curran is ready.

The 20-year old will fulfill one of his goals on his journey to becoming a professional fighter. Patrick Curran, cousin of top ten featherweight Jeff “Big Frog” Curran, is scheduled to make his professional debut this weekend at XFO 22 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Training hard at the Curran Martial Arts Academy, “Jr.” looks to make a successful entrance into a promising MMA career.

“[I’m] improving everyday; better shape, cardio…I feel great” said Curran. “The good thing about training with my cousin Jeff is that he is like an older brother to me. He knows not to let me get too far ahead of myself. I am confident that I can do well in this sport, but my team always tries to keep me on earth since I am still new to all this.”

Being a professional fighter is not without its difficulties. Many athletes work full-time jobs in addition to fighting in order support themselves and their families.

So what peaked his curiosity?

“I actually first looked into the sport when I visited my cousin Jeff for his wedding when I was seventeen years old or so. He knew I was a wrestler and when I walked into his backyard he grabbed me and brought me into his house. He popped in a fight of his and gave me a stack of DVD’s. He told me that this would keep me busy for a while. I was sold,” revealed Curran. “At that point I knew I wanted to be a fighter but still had a year left of school before I could move down to train under Jeff.”

Curran is currently 3-0 as an amateur and has made it apparent that he will use his wrestling prowess to overpower and slam his opponents. The Team Curran fighter was a high school wrestling standout, breaking many records during his youth. He plans to bring his aggressive style with him as a professional.

“[I’d describe myself as] aggressive with strong takedowns and ground work. I don’t back down. I am not one of those fighters that fold and back up once they are actually in the fight. My boxing and Thai boxing is improving, and I hit hard, so that should be a plus as time goes on,” stated the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt.

Patrick Curran is honored to be a part of one of the best teams in MMA today. The young prospect commented about what it was like to be a member of Team Curran.

“It’s my family…literally. But, to be completely honest, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. They all take care of me and want their fighters to improve. It’s the new family business. Jeff knows what it takes to make it in this business so I trust him. Team Curran’s boxing coach, Doug Mango, is investing a lot of time into me. It’s just awesome.”

Jeff Curran has worked hard to get to where he is at today. He’s widely considered one of the top featherweights in the world. For Patrick, walking behind the same path of his cousin may bring about some unwanted pressure.

“Yeah of course I feel some [pressure], but I feel ready to impress a lot of people and to make my family proud. I want the Curran name to be something that rings loud in this sport for another decade to come and then some. Jeff and I share the same interest in building our own family legacy. It’s very exciting,” exclaimed the 145-pound fighter.

Curran is scheduled to face Tony Hervey this weekend, a late replacement for his original opponent Lazar Stojadinovic.

Despite the last second change, Curran remains focused. “I just want to stay humble and fight my butt off.”

On Feb. 23, Patrick Curran will take his career to the next level as he makes his professional MMA debut.

“My cousin said I am not allowed to have any fans yet. [Laughs] I want to say thanks for all the support from Team Curran overall and I hope to make them proud. Thanks to my sponsors: Tapout, Fairtex, Schwartz Heating and Davis Speed Center, who are looking out for me early on in my career.”

XFO 22 Fight Card:

Josh Rafferty vs. Kevin Knabjian, 175
Herc Hayes vs. Brian Heden, Super Heavyweight
Pat Curran vs. Tony Hervey, 145
Mike Stumpf vs. Dennis Reed, 185
Nick Janowitz vs. Simon Marini, 145
Dom O’Grady vs. Sal Woods, 170
Jason Bowling vs. Craig Kaufman, 170
Jacob Volkman vs. Brent Mehrhoff, 170
Nat McIntyre vs. Darius Turcinskas, 135
Nik Lentz vs. Scott Bickerstaff, 160
Joe Vedepo vs. Dave Hopper, 185
Joe Schlotterer vs. James Haourt, 145
Waylon Lowe vs. Andrew Hoogeboom, 155

Rick Rodriguez vs. Mitch Filer, 170
Brian Palmer vs. Ed Blake, 170
Kris Palasz vs. Brett Brendel, 145
Mike Lullo vs. Pete Brown, 155
Sean Thibault vs. Ryan Corcoran, 155
Rich Lictawa vs. Bryan Fedynyszyn, 205
Pat Hastings vs. Nick Dombowski, 165