You would be hard pressed to find a fighter who had a 2019 quite like Chris Curtis did.
Despite losing three straight fights, and retiring twice in the same night in October, Curtis returned to action last month and successfully defended his Z Promotions welterweight title via fourth round doctor’s stoppage TKO at Fight Nights 12 in Canada.
Curtis had a 1-1 regular season for the promotion in 2019, but his third round TKO win over Andre Fialho earned “The Action Man” enough points for a playoff spot. The 32-year-old Curtis would face Magomed Magomedkarimov to open up his postseason — the man who defeated Curtis in his final regular season fight via unanimous decision — and would drop that fight on the judges’ scorecards. Following the decision loss, Curtis would announce his retirement from the sport.
Shortly after the announcement, Magomedkarimov was forced to withdraw from his semifinal fight with Ray Cooper III due to an injury. Curtis, who was getting ready to eat his post-fight meal, was given the opportunity to face Cooper III in his prior opponent’s place, which he did. Cooper III would finish the fight via KO in the second round and, ultimately, win the tournament and become $1 million richer. Again, Curtis announced his retirement.
After reflection, Curtis decided to give it another go and got back in the win column.
Curtis recently joined MyMMANews.com to discuss what happened from his perspective at October’s PFL event, retiring twice, what ultimately lead to his return, his most recent title defense, the wild Syndicate MMA Christmas party and more.
In addition, Curtis hopes to return to the PFL for another opportunity to become the welterweight champion, go home with $1 million and have a “real fight” with Ray Cooper III.
“I really want to roll back into that tournament,” Curtis told MyMMANews.com. “I don’t want that night [in October] to be the end of me, especially since I lost on a fight that I should’ve won. I promise you that nine out of 10 times… I need to have a real fight with Ray. We didn’t have a real fight, you legally sucker punched me. Hats off to Ray, though. I love Ray, I was rooting for him in the finals. I’m glad he won it but it was an emotional sucker punch. I want to run it back.
“We’re hoping [to get back in there for the PFL] and we’re working on it. We haven’t finished talking to them yet, but I’m really hoping it pans out. Magomed, I spoke with him, and we’ll demand opposite ends of the bracket. We’re done fighting each other in non-title fights. We’re both over it. This season, it’s way more brutal than it was with Rory MacDonald popping in there. The field this year is going to be sick so I want to be a part of that.
Check out the full interview with Chris Curtis in the video above.
Mike Heck is the a freelance MMA journalist covering the sport for a number of websites. Specializing in video interviews, Mike interviews everybody from prospects, to title contenders, to world champions, along with other influential personalities in the sport of MMA. Subscribe to his channel at https://youtube.com/mikeheckmma.