Video: Here’s Jeff Curran’s emotional retirement speech following Victory FC 53 loss

He’s done it before, but Jeff Curran’s latest retirement seems like the real deal.

Curran (36-18-1), a big-show vet who’s fought for organizations ranging from the UFC and the WEC to Strikeforce and PRIDE, suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Raufeon Stots in Wednesday’s Victory FC 53 headliner (watch the highlights below).

It was Curran’s first fight since March 2015 (he retired after that one) and just his second since one in August 2013 (he retired after that one too). Fully stepping away from the sport has obviously been a tough thing to do for the 39-year-old, who made his pro debut 18 years ago – a year after he made his 1997 amateur debut.

Wednesday’s fight, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa, moved Curran to 0-3 in his past three bouts and 1-5 since late 2011. Afterward, “Big Frog” fought back tears to discuss the bittersweet moment (via Twitter).

“I shouldn’t be sad about this,” said Curran, who’s posted 21 submission victories in 36 career wins. “I’ve had an awesome career. I’ve loved fighting more than anything. …

“It’s really hard to put into words, so I’ll just say goodbye and thank you guys. It’s been awesome. Thanks to my coaches, my management, everybody – my friends, my family. I love you guys.”

Although he’s generally a fan favorite and has helped guide many young careers, Curran suggested he’s got his fair share of critics. He even gave them a shoutout before wrapping up his in-cage interview.

“Hey, all you guys out there who hate me all these years, thank you too,” he said. “You motivated me. I appreciate it.”

For more on Victory FC 53, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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