Curtis shoots for Top 10 ranking vs Allen in UFC

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Curtis shoots for Top 10 ranking vs Allen in UFC
Chris Curtis

MANILA, Philippines – When the year 2024 began, mixed martial arts fighter Chris Curtis had one goal.

“That to get into the Top 15 rankings of the middleweight division,” he succinctly put. After defeating Marc-Andre Barriault in UFC 297 last January, he cracked the Top 15, where he is No. 14 as of today.

Should he defeat Brendan Allen in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Sunday, April 7, the Top 10 could be within grasp.

“If I am able to achieve that, then I might have to adjust my goals for 2024,” he postulated. 

You could say that Curtis is a man in a hurry.

“I turn 37 this July 15,” he clarified. “I have three or four years left in mixed martial arts. So I do not have enough time.”

Curtis finally got the UFC call-up in late 2021, and he opened his account in the world’s top combat sports organization with a win over Phil Hawes in UFC 268. He then went on to defeat Brendan Allen two weeks after his debut to go 2-0 in his first two UFC bouts.

And riding an eight-fight win streak, he suddenly lost three in a row in the Professional Fighters League. 

Moving organizations, he won five straight and got the much-dreamed about UFC call-up. Except now, he was up against the world’s best fighters. 

He defeated Rodolfo Vieira for his third straight triumph. However, in his last five fights, he is 2-2-1. 

Curtis admitted to feeling down with the recent mixed results, but none more so against Kevin Gastelum, a fight he thought that he should have won.

“I just had to learn how to let go of those losses,” is his biggest take away. And he had to learn just that.

Early in his career, with Curtis’ record at 21-5

Now, he is once more up against Allen (23-5-0) who has been on a tear winning six straight. Critics say that Allen hasn’t beaten top fighters and has gotten wins on those on their way down. Curtis (31-10-0, 1 NC) isn’t taking that lightly. 

“He still had to win those fights,” Curtis reasoned.

It will serve Allen well to take the fight to the ground. Curtis’ takedown defense is on point though. So how one adjusts and pounces on the mistakes of the other will get the win.

“I am not looking past Brendan. I have to get this win to realize my title goals. I got into the UFC late, and I want to make the most out of it.”

The card will be televised live via the Premier Sports channel on Sky Cable and Cignal as well as streaming application Blast TV. The preliminary cards get underway at 3 a.m. with the main card at 6 a.m.

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