Chris Curtis and Rodolfo Vieira seemed to be a sure bet for a stoppage, but both men showcased their toughness with Curtis coming out on top by decision at UFC Vegas 57.
Chris Curtis became a fan favorite last year, after a lengthy career finally landed him in the UFC — allowing him to announce his presence with back-to-back knockouts of Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen.
The “Action Man” returned to, well, action on Saturday at UFC Vegas 57, paired up with decorated BJJ ace Rodolfo Vieira. The match-up was simple: striker versus grappler, at least on paper.
Chris Curtis took the center of the Octagon, landed two punches then was taken down by Vieira. Fortunately for Curtis, he hit a reversal on the way down and landed in top position. The ensuing scramble put the fighters on the fence with Vieira in the advantageous position. Vieira was delivering knees to Curtis’ midsection and unfortunately was hit below the belt. Curtis did not use much of the time to get back to it with his opponent. Vieira landed a leg kick then whiffed on a sloppy takedown attempt. He tried again, this time starting with a jab, and he was able to push Curtis against the fence. Curtis spun out and landed a hard shot to the body as Vieira chased a takedown again. Vieira connected with a jab, then a right hand over the top. Once Vieira had momentum on the feet, he landed push kick that was thought to be below the belt, but a replay determined it was not. The referee sent Curtis back to the center of the cage and Vieira continued to connect with straight punches. The round came to an end shortly after.
Vieira shot for an early single leg in the second round, pushing Curtis to the cage. Vieira was unable to get the takedown and returned to the center of the cage. Curtis was caught low again, but the referee did not grant him a stoppage in action. Curtis began to find his range as the second round went on, landing a slick body shot. Curtis began hunting body shots then went up top with a left-right combination that landed cleanly. Curtis now had the momentum going into the final round.
Curtis was firing his left hook to start the final round and Vieira did not have an answer. The combinations continued to land for Curtis as Vieira was unable to get a hold of him. The left hook of Curtis was essentially automatic as he began stuffing the takedowns of Vieira more emphatically. Vieira landed a few shots of his own, but Curtis was getting the better of him on the feet. Curtis stuffed one more takedown, the landed ground and pound to put a stamp on the contest.
Chris Curtis def. Rodolfo Vieira by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)