Crystal Lake's Jeff Curran wins MMA flyweight debut

Jeff Curran returned from a 12-month layoff to defeat Josh Killion in their mixed martial arts match that was the main event at Extreme Challenge 227 Friday night in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Curran, 35, trains at his own gym in Crystal Lake and was battling back from injuries that kept him from fighting. He lost his previous two matches before beating Killion, 29-28, on all three judges’ cards, raising his career record to 36-15-1.

Killion, 22, was more aggressive when they were on their feet, but Curran, in his 52nd professional fight, showed his experience when he forced Killion to the mat for long portions of the second and third rounds.

Curran was able to lock his legs around Killion and prevent him from any offensive moves, while trying to choke him out.

The fight was Curran’s first in the flyweight (125 pounds) class. He hoped a solid victory could help propel him for a chance to return to matches at the Ultimate Fighting Championships. It remains to be seen if that will happen, but Curran likely will continue fighting. Previous to the fight, he said a loss might mean his retirement.