At 35, Crystal Lake’s Jeff Curran believes he still has plenty of fight left in him. While the goal is to reach the UFC again after being cut loose by the promotion following two straight losses, Curran knows he’s got to start winning and that time is not in his corner. He is scheduled to return to the cage May 11 when he will make his flyweight debut.
When I started (in MMA), it wasn’t a sport. It was what people shouldn’t do. It was frowned on, it was looked bad on, fans were slim. There was an underground support system online but none of the fighters had a computer – I can tell you that. Now, the sport is so big. I’ve gone through all these eras and all these changes in and around mixed martial arts. So for me to be able to get back and fight again is huge.
Life as a fighter now as opposed to being a fighter (before having kids) is totally different. My vision is, ‘My family – I have them for the rest of my life’ and fighting is something I do. Before, I made fighting my priority and I just wanted everyone else to get that. My wife always got that, but I used to get on her for stuff without even realizing it. So to get everyone on that page of, ‘OK, this is how Jeff gets when he fights’ was big. Once you get them on that page, I can be nicer. Now, everyone wants the success for me as much as I want success for myself. So it’s just easier.
Dana White is a really cool guy. I admire him. He’s hardcore about his position (as UFC President) and some people don’t like it. I respect anybody that can take a company and do what he’s done with it, and I think he needs to be how he is. The sport needs a guy like that. I wouldn’t say he’s misunderstood. I don’t think he’s going home thinking, ‘People don’t understand me.’ I think he’s going home saying, ‘Good, I want you to think that.’ That’s the side he wants you to see.
The result of the fight doesn’t dictate the happiness in my life, and when I took that pressure off, I started to enjoy being a fighter again. I’d like to think I’m 100 percent through that and that the decision is final. I don’t know how I would react if I lost my next fight. I’d probably be pretty down on myself, but I’m pretty confident in who I am in what I’ve done in the sport to date. So to end now would be OK and acceptable in my community and in my sport. But I want to fight.
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