Injuries have a different impact depending on the sport. In team sports, a single injury could have a major effect on a game. However, in a combat sport an injury could go as far as preventing the fight from even taking place. In mixed martial arts, fights are constantly being changed, altered, moved around or even canceled as a result of an injury. Unlike the NFL, where the schedule won’t change and the game will go on, mixed martial arts depends on the prevention of injury, even though it is nearly unpreventable.

While it is the nature of the beast, fighters have to withdraw from injury fairly frequently in the world of MMA. However, fans were left scratching their heads recently based on the oddity that came with one specific injury. Jeff Curran was set to take on Sergio Pettis for the flyweight title in the main event of Friday’s Resurrection Fighting Alliance 8. Then injury took Curran out of the match-up.

The injury, however, was not to the 35-year-old, but rather to his dog.

His dog was reportedly hit by a car in a near-fatal accident. While the overall severity of the situation is unknown, one can figure that the dog must have been in fairly poor condition in order for its owner to withdraw from a fight two weeks away. But for it to be bad enough to prevent a MMA veteran from being able to continue his training camp and fight for a championship title is laughable.

The last thing I want is for PETA to come knocking at my door with their people picketing my residence in protest to this article, but come on. It would be a little more reasonable if Pettis and his crew intentionally ran over the hound on the way to the weigh-ins, that is if the dog was going to hold onto Curran’s clothes while his owner tipped the scales. Or if it were a case where the dog was holding the launch codes for the nuclear weapons to prevent World War III. It also would have been different if Curran’s withdrawal had been due to a serious injury sustained by a family member.

But to not fight as a result of an injured pet is flat out bogus. As a result of it, a number of headaches were created. The promotion had to go out and find someone on short notice to replace him, but it couldn’t be just any run-of-the-mill flyweight. It had to be one that was worthy of fighting in the main event of a televised card, while simultaneously deserving a title shot. Promotions like Resurrection Fighting Alliance, which air its cards on AXS TV, depend on veterans and big up-and-comers like Curran and Pettis to draw as many viewers as possible, and the loss of a title fight could mean everything for the promotion.

The real question that needs to be answered is whether or not “Big Frog” deep down inside thought that he would not be able to beat his 19-year-old opponent, and found any reason under the sun to be able to get out of the fight. The court of public opinion seems to think that this is the case, and it is hard to disagree with that line of thinking.

Deep down, I want to truly hope that this pooch means everything to the Curran family, and that they were completely crushed and devastated to the point where work and life around them halted. I want to think that it was a case where an injury to man’s best friend truly left the man crippled. But like almost everyone else, I feel as though he didn’t want anything to do with the fight in the first place.

If it hasn’t already, one would have to figure that a pink slip will be put in the mail for Curran in the days forthcoming. At this point, if the promotion doesn’t plan on cutting him loose, it is opening itself up for a world of hurt based on precedent. What will the next excuse be, that they stepped on a crack on their way to the gym which actually broke their mothers back? That one of their car headlights burnt out on their way to the weigh-in, which was scheduled to take place in the early afternoon?

Barring something as ridiculous as a baseball game being canceled for a rain storm that never happens, this very well could be the worst reason in the history of sport for a contest to not be played. Curran put the company in an awkward and awful situation, and the promotion needs to save face and release him because of it. End of story.

Photo: Jeff Curran (L) (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.

  • Travis

    Are you kidding me? If my dog got hurt before id bounce too! You must not have a dog yourself or your just a shitty owner

  • Mike

    I think you are missing a huge point in the story…Jeff is a family man. He has a wife and 2 children to worry about as well. He went immediately into Dad mode during the most crucial time in training. A man that has fought Serra, Kid Yamamoto, Faber, Brown, Jorgensen, Hioki, etc, etc…is not afraid of fighting Sergio Pettis, no disrespect to him… but to think that is LAUGHABLE.