Las Vegas, NV — It has been a very long road for Chris Curtis, filled with ups and downs, but for the first time in his professional fighting career, he is not living paycheck to paycheck.
After a tremendous 2021 that included two knockouts as a moderate underdog, Curtis (28-8) returns to action against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Rodolfo Viera on Saturday at UFC Vegas 57.
The 34-year-old fighter has busted his ass on the MMA regional scene to make it to the UFC after getting snubbed on Dana White’s Contender Series. The reason behind that snub is something that to this day Curtis and every fan wants to know about, as in, ‘what the hell happened?’
Nevertheless, after finally making it to the UFC, Curtis is not living paycheck to paycheck for the first time in his 13-year career.
“So, I’ve been a pro for 13 years, somebody told me today, which is weird to think about. But that means I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck or less than paycheck to paycheck for about 15 years now,” Curtis told Cageside Press during his UFC Vegas 57 media day. “And that sucks, man, especially when you have like a kid and everything and you’re trying to like start a family — it’s a stressful situation to know that you know, you can’t be the one to be counted on to be providing.”
“You go out there, and you bust your ass, you win fights, you make 2000 bucks, and that gets eaten by bills before you even get home. So now, for the first time in my life, I don’t have to check my bank account every day. Like I know that if my son needs anything, it’s fine. If my son wants anything, it’s fine. But he abuses this more than I do. I live pretty poor. I don’t really want any things. My son abuses the hell out of it.”
“But it’s nice being able to know that my bills are paid,” added Curtis. “I’m not gonna worry about being homeless, and my family and my people that I love can rely on me finally to put my part in. So, it’s a long time coming, man.”
Unfortunately, some people aren’t in Chris’ life anymore who he’d like to repay and that eats away at him.
“I think the biggest thing for me is there’s a lot of people who aren’t in my life anymore, who were there during the come-up that aren’t there for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s their fault; a lot of times, it’s my fault. But I don’t get to pay them back. And there are a lot of people who never will speak to me again for various reasons; probably my fault that I’ll never get to pay back and show my gratitude. So, that sucks, but it’s nice to know that in this position and forever reason if they ever reached out to me, I’d be able to be there for them,” Curtis said.
Watch the rest of Chris Curtis’ UFC Vegas 57 media day appearance above. For more from “The Action Man,” check out our one-on-one with him below!