Chicago, IL ( USA ): “WORLDS COLLIDE” was certainly an appropriate title for XFO 34, which took place this past Saturday, December 5th, live in Lakemoor , IL . Returning after a three year absence from his home promotion, “The Big Frog” Jeff Curran clashed with the extremely tough Tomohiko Hori, a Japan native who is a training partner of former Curran opponent and current WEC bantamweight contender Takeya Mizugaki.
A UFC/WEC/PRIDE/StrikeForce veteran and submission specialist, Curran scrapped with Hori in a back-and-forth battle that saw both men giving and getting punishment. In the end, “The Big Frog” was able to overcome cuts and bleeding sustained in the first round to garner the much-deserved unanimous decision victory over a very game Hori. He was the busier fighter all night long, as he took Hori down several times and landed the more effective leg-kicks and strikes.
Hori (10-8-5) recently won the prestigious DEEP 135 lbs. tournament, and was prepared to go to war with his American counterpart. But the man from “The Land of the Rising Sun” wasn’t able to overcome the well-rounded skills of Curran (33-12-1), and was not able to make good on his pre-fight KO prediction. Instead, it was Curran that went home with the big victory. And with an eye toward his future, Curran is primed for his next run at greatness in the sport, and he hopes it will be back in the WEC. “I am back and ready to tear this division up,” Curran stated. “I have finally arrived.”
In the co-main event, Pat Curran, cousin to Jeff, locked horns with Travis “Care-Free” Perzynski, a much larger opponent with a lot of experience. Perzynski has competed successfully at 155 lbs. and 170 lbs., but when Curran’s originally opponent dropped out, “Care-Free” stepped up. Curran, for his part, refused to back down. Both landed some good shots in the first round, though Curran was hurt early on. He recovered, but as the fight moved into the second round, Perzynski’s (unofficially 25-3, officially 11-3) size advantage began to become apparent.
It proved to be too much, though Curran (9-3) persevered, refusing to give up until he had no choice. With 22 seconds left in the second round, “Care-Free” locked in the rear-naked choke to secure the submission victory. Jeff Curran weighed in with his thoughts on Pat and his fight: “Travis is the number one ranked MMA fighter in Minnesota , and it was a great test for Pat. Pat won the first round, I guess, but the size difference was very apparent as the second round progressed. Pat needs to stay at 145 and dominate that division. I don’t consider this a setback for him because it was out of his weight class.”
“WORLDS COLLIDE” also featured a dozen amateur bouts showcasing some of the top MMA prospects in the Midwest . Originally, “The Triangular Strangler” Joe Pearson and Norm Alexander were to battle in a professional featherweight matchup, but Alexander was unfortunately unable to make weight. However, the Curran bouts and the amateur fights more than made up for it. The venue was almost sold out, with 800 fans in attendance enjoying the hot action, cheering on their local favorites. “WORLDS COLLIDE” is electrified the local fight fans!