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Rivalry between Miguel Torres and Jeff Curran begins to grow

What initially started as an innocent attempt by Jeff Curran to raise the level of excitement even further in the WEC’s bantamweight division has now taken on a life of its own.

During a recent C3 Full Contact Fighting event in which Curran was inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame, the former featherweight-turned-bantamweight competitor responded to a question about what his goals were for the upcoming year by indicating that he wanted to win the WEC 135 pound title currently held by Miguel Torres.

With several thousand fans on hand to witness the comments in Torres’ hometown of Hammond, Indiana, some took them out of context and began to claim that Curran “called Torres out” during posts on the legendary Underground forum at

The thread exploded when Curran responded to comments in which some fans expressed that they believed Curran’s comments were disrespectful and that he wasn’t “in the same league” as the incumbent champ.

Curran, one of the greatest lighter weight fighters to ever compete in MMA, took great offense to some of the remarks made.

“WOW! That’s all I can say,” an agitated Curran responded. “Suddenly Miguel Torres is God.”

“I lose one fight in 60 by a submission to Urijah Faber and I suddenly don’t transfer my BJJ to MMA as good as Torres?,” Curran continued. “That’s just ridiculous.”

Clearly feeling slighted after not being compared favorably to Torres, Curran decided to introduce some statistical information to the debate in response to his critics.

“MIguel is slick as hell, I am the first to admit,” said Curran. “I am personally a fan of his as he has claimed to be of mine. But, here are a few quick facts to ease your troubled little minds: Miguel has fought some good guys, yes, but the majority of his fight record consists of fighters that haven’t been very active overall. Meaning they are not currently fighting.

“Here are some simple numbers: my 42 total opponents total a win/loss/draw record of 479-269-25 (773 total fights). MIguel Torres has fought guys totaling a record of 204-159-7 combined record (370 total fights) out of his 35 total fights. So on an average I have seven more fights than him yet my opposition has a total of 403 more total fights.” contacted Curran in response to the forum post and while he has nothing personal against Torres, he made it clear that he feels some of Torres’ supporters are overlooking his credentials.

“I think I have plenty of respect. I just think that when someone doesn’t respect you, it shows up more than when people do,” he began to tell us during an exclusive interview conducted by phone. “My fans and my students and my family, they don’t go on the Underground and I’ve got a few guys that try and keep up with stuff that are backing me, but for the most part I’ve got better things to do than have all my friends go on and hype me up. There are just times in which I wish I had some people to go on there and speak on my behalf so that I wouldn’t have too.”

However, as we continued to speak with Curran, he still wanted to stress that he has a resume that is every bit as strong as Torres’ — and perhaps stronger.

“…The bottom line is that he fought a lot of guys in the bulk of his career that never really continued on to be fighters and never were really fighters in the first place,” he said. “He’s beat some good guys and he’s good, but let’s not think that he’s out of my league. If anybody thinks he’s out of my league, they are out of their mind. When he was fighting guys who were 0-2, I was in the UFC fighting Matt Serra on nine days notice even though he completely outweighed me. He couldn’t finish me off, he couldn’t submit me, and he couldn’t overpower me. And that was when my game was half of what it is now…”

While Curran indicated that both he and Torres are friends, it appears that his decision to move from featherweight to bantamweight has put a great deal of stress on the friendship.

“I talked to Miguel right after I had fought Mike Brown,” Curran began to explain. “Me and Miguel had a conversation and I said, ‘Hey, there’s a good chance now that I’m moving to the division that we’re going to end up fighting and I think it’s in our best interest to do it professionally and do it right and make sure everybody knows about it.’ And he said ‘Oh yeah, I’m all behind it.’

“I told him we could hype it up. It’s not like we’ve got to go out and trash talk each other… He was in agreement with me and it started to approach the end of the year and we saw Mike Brown beat Urijah Faber and it got my wheels turning… I sent him a text and said ‘Once you go through Tapia, you should give me a call and we’ll do this up and get something going…

“His assistant called me and said that he was training for a fight and that he would call me as soon as he got back from out of town… Then a week later his agent called my agent and started bitching about me calling and bothering Miguel and stuff and that Miguel is too good to fight me. I sort of got thinking that maybe all of this fame has gotten to Miguel’s head and that he doesn’t remember he doesn’t have as good of a shot of beating me as he thinks.”

While Curran isn’t sure when the seemingly inevitable showdown with Torres will take place, he did reveal to Five Ounces of Pain that he expects his WEC debut at bantamweight to take place on Jan. 25 in San Diego at WEC 38.

“Vaguely, in the beginning (the WEC) said they wanted to put me and Torres together but they never said whether they wanted me to win one fight or two. They never give that description,” Curran answered when asked about a timetable for a possible Torres fight, before continuing by saying, “But I am discussing fighting whoever they give me for the Jan. 25 WEC and I don’t know who that would be, but I don’t mind fighting once (before fighting Torres).”

  • Leland Roling says:

    Great little piece, Sam. Honestly, I firmly believe Torres’s guard is one of the most actively punishing things I’ve seen in a long time. Curran may have some decent grappling abilities, in fact, he has some damn good grappling abilities, but Torres has proven to be an absolute machine in nearly every facet of the ground game. Sure, Curran has the talents, resume, background, and overall fight record to push his points, but I would translate watching both of them fight to a full analysis and see that Torres still is the aggressor on the ground at all times.

    I’d love to see this fight. Curran definitely could control on the ground, but Torres’s punishing abilities even while on his back could wear Curran thin. I think this little mistake in Curran “calling out” Torres helps the hype for this potential bout anyways, Curran and Torres should see that and roll with it.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Who knows? Maybe a little psy ops will help Curran. Torres came out a little angry in his fight with Maeda, and it cost him. If he comes out flailing against Curran, Curran has the experience to exploit it.

  • Jason G says:

    Jeff should tell Miguel that he has bad hair. That would turn up the heat!

  • steve says:

    he’s not lying go Sherdog’s Fight Finder and checkout their stats.

    this would be a great matchup though.

  • skwirrl says:

    Curran subs Miguel in rd 2 i’m calling it now. Miguel may have a very active guard but so does Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is great at Jiu Jitsu but I still wouldn’t pick him to sub most black belts. Miguel is similarly great at Jiu Jitsu but he’ll be going after somebody thats better than him at it.


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