Tomorrow brings forth another chapter in the MMA history books with the UFC On Fuel TV 3 card. While some may tend to look past these cards, I think this one has great potential. One of the bouts I'm looking forward to is Jeff Curran vs. Johnny Eduardo. You've got two tough guys coming off losses, so you can almost guarantee they're going to go for broke. I had the chance to interview Jeff for TapouT Radio, and got his thoughts leading into his fight.
Stephie Daniels: You've finally got your new gym fully up and running. How has your camp been at the new facility?
Jeff Curran: It's been a very stress free environment for the first time in most of my career. It's really well organized and I have great training partners. It's been a very motivating experience.
My last fight with Scott Jorgensen, we were in limbo, because we were waiting for my fight to be over so we could do our final move. It's was kind of scattered, and the gym was all torn apart.
Stephie Daniels: Would you say that was a contributing factor in your loss to Jorgensen?
Jeff Curran: No, I still trained. The stress made it a little harder, and I didn't enjoy it as much. I just wasn't as clear-minded.
Stephie Daniels: How do you feel you and Johnny match up?
Jeff Curran: I think we match up great. He's a good fighter, a veteran, like me. He's got a lot of experience. Style-wise, I think I have some good things working for me. It's pretty much the best fight I could ask for, at the moment. Somebody with his style, and that wants to stand up and strike, because I'm in the same boat.
Stephie Daniels: With him having such a long win streak broken in his last fight, do you think that might give you a clear mental edge over him?
Jeff Curran: It's hard to say. I don't know enough about him to really know whether or not it's affecting him, but nobody likes to lose two in a row, so you know he's going to come and do what he has to do to ensure that doesn't happen. In the UFC, everybody comes to play hard, and this is not going to be an easy fight. That might be messing with him a little, and may be putting some pressure on him that he's not used to.
Stephie Daniels: Where do you feel you will have the distinct advantage over him?
Jeff Curran: I see myself having the power advantage in the hands, and definitely having an advantage on the ground.
Stephie Daniels: Do you seek professional help, like a Mike Dolce type, to help get you in fight shape, or do you have this down to a science, and do it all yourself?
Jeff Curran: I'm not really into those fads, and I don't try to jump on the bandwagon and follow guys around. I have a good personal trainer that's been with me for six years. His degree is in sports science and nutrition, so if he doesn't have an answer, he finds it for me. After working with him for so long, I'm pretty much my own diet consultant, and my wife is actually pretty intelligent with it, so between the two of us, we come up with the goods and bads of what I should and shouldn't eat.
Jeff Curran: When you talk about Urijah, you know, he brings it every time. He's unpredictable and he's got a lot of power. He's not afraid to fight the fight, anywhere it goes.
Dominick Cruz has the footwork, and all that kind of stuff. I do think that as a champion, he needs to start knocking people out, and being a little bit more dominating as a champion, but he clearly wins fights and knows how to play the game, so that's also a strength of his.
Stephie Daniels: A word that has been used to describe him is "point-fighter". Do you feel that's accurate?
Jeff Curran: I think he's not afraid to mix it up, but I think he plays the safer fight. He goes out there planning for the fight to go five rounds, rather than going out there and trying to make a statement. I could be wrong, and he could just be running into tough opposition, but we'll see as time goes on if he steps it up and starts putting people away.
Stephie Daniels: Are you a guy that likes to stay active, fighting three or four times a year, or do you like to take some time off in between, to recoup yourself?
Jeff Curran: I think I'm at my best when I'm more active. At this point in my life, I guess it's all timing. If I were coming off of a win, I would be really motivated to fight again, right away. Sometimes I want to fight right away, sometimes I want to take my break.
Stephie Daniels: Have you set a time limit for yourself to get to the belt?
Jeff Curran: Right now, it's really just fight to fight. Honestly, if I lose, and get set back, there's a good chance I won't continue fighting at all. If I lost, I'd be released from the UFC, and I don't think I'm willing to work back for a second time.
I try not to think about the future too much. I really want to think about just one fight at a time. I do have the interest in maybe pursuing a weight class change after this fight, if it goes well. Other than that, I'm not looking too far ahead of Johnny Eduardo. I respect him as an opponent, so I'm going to go in there and try to get my job done.
Stephie Daniels: Are you interested in moving up or down a weight class?
Jeff Curran: I would like to discuss what would be possible about going down. These past couple fight camps, my weight cut has really not even been a cut, and it's not a struggle for me. It's not even a struggle for me like it used to be at 145, just because of how I train and how I eat.
The competition is so strong now at 125, I think with a win at 135, I could become a real close contender at 125 for a title shot. You know, I'm getting old, so I'd like to take whatever path might be the fastest bet.
Follow Jeff via his Twitter, @BigFrogBJJ