Jaydene Kailin Asoa Curran is an American mixed martial artist presently affiliated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Of petite build, she fights in the strawweight division. Curran started practising kickboxing and wrestling in high school at a time when women fighters were a novelty in mixed martial arts. Looking for inspiration, she chose to adhere to the rich tradition of the people of Hawaii, her home state, in competitive fighting instead. She began her professional career in Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC), a promotion based out of Guam. In March 2013, she debuted in the cage against Kaiyana Rain, a match she won by unanimous decision. Winning the next two matches as well, she had an easy transition to the UFC. However, her performance in the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world has been far from perfect. Not only she lost her first match inside the famous UFC Octagon against Paige VanZant, she was also defeated in her last four matches. Ambitious, resolute, and hard-working, it’s only a matter of time before she turns things around for herself.
Kailin Curran had trained in wrestling and kickboxing throughout high school. On March 6, 2010, she debuted as an amateur fighter in Destiny MMA against Lisa Ha, winning the bout with a second-round submission. She would also win her next three matches before losing her final bout as an amateur against J.J. Aldrich by a first-round submission on June 16, 2012, garnering a record of four wins, one loss, and one no contest.
PXC was the first organization that offered her a contract and it was with them that she started her professional career. In her debut professional fight, she fought Californian Kaiyana Rain on March 8, 2013. She dominated Rain throughout the entire fight, even one time picking her up from the cage floor and then slamming her back down. Although Rain managed to survive all three rounds, the judges unanimously agreed that Curran was the winner.
She scored another victory in her next bout, which was against Japanese Emi Tomimatsu and took place on August 9, 2013. In her final match for the promotion, she was pitted against South Korean Yoo Jin Jung. On February 28, 2013, she put on a stellar performance, registering yet another win before UFC came calling.
Curran made her UFC debut on November 22, 2014, in Austin, Texas against Paige VanZant. It was a brutal match that went back and forth but finally, VanZant won via technical knockout in the third round. Curran and VanZant received Fight of the Night accolade for their performances. She suffered defeat in her next fight as well. The Australian-born Alex Chambers triumphed over Curran via armbar on May 10, 2015.
Ordinarily, fighters have to toil for years in the independent circuit before they get that all-important call from UFC. It happened rather early for Curran. She was still a relative newcomer to the sport and had only appeared in three professional bouts before signing a contract with the biggest promotion in MMA. Her back-to-back losses to VanZant and Chambers really affected her on the emotional level. Desperate for a win, she entered the Octagon on December 10, 2015, to fight Emily Kagan and put on an aggressive yet measured performance, winning the match by an innovative, second-round rear-naked choke.
However, her luck turned again, and this time for the worse. She has lost all her last four matches. She was defeated by Felice Herrig on July 23, 2016, Jamie Moyle on December 3, 2016, at The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale event, and Russian Aleksandra Albu on July 29, 2017. In her most recent outing, she could not overcome Chinese newcomer Yan Xiaonan, who won by unanimous decision. Curran has the dubious “honour” of being one of the few rare fighters still signed with UFC with a sub-.500 record.
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Kailin Curran was born on April 11, 1991 in the US state of Hawaii to parents Denny Sebala Sr. and Robin Curran Sebala. She attended James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. Growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, she lacked a female role model to look up to in mixed martial arts. However, various male fighters from Hawaii had already made a name for themselves in the sport. The trend which began with Relson Gracie, the son of MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Helio Gracie, who moved to Oahu in 1988 and set up a world class gym and training centre, eventually resulted in champions like Enson Inoue, BJ Penn, Travis Browne, and Max Holloway, who cumulatively have dominated MMA for the last two decades. Curran sought and found her inspiration in these stalwarts of the sport.
Curran started dating professional surfer and fellow Hawaiian Keanu Asing sometime in 2011. After six years of relationship, the couple married on August 13, 2017, in San Clemente, California.
Curran is of Samoan, Hawaiian, Irish, and German descent.