Chris Curtis Accepted UFC London Fight Before He Knew Who Opponent Was

London, England — Chris Curtis agreed to fight at UFC London before he even knew who he’d be facing.

Turns out, it’s Jack Hermansson, with Curtis filling in for Darren Till. An admittedly tricky fight, but one Curtis (29-8) was happy to take.

“I literally said yes before I knew I was fighting Jack Hermansson, because my first actual question was ‘what are they paying me?’ And once he said that, and I was like ‘okay,’ I was already in,” Curtis exclaimed during Wednesday’s UFC London media day. “I could have been fighting, I don’t know, as long as it’s not Yoel Romero, I didn’t care, and he’s not in the company. That’s the one guy I’m actually afraid of. But it’s a tricky fight, sure, but what’s the worst that happens guys? I lose? I’ve got eight losses on my record, I’m not really worried about that.”

“They paid me a bunch of money, I get to come to England, I get to fight in the O2, why would I say no?”

How much money was the obvious follow-up question. The answer — a lot. “I’ve at least doubled my pay,” revealed Curtis. “Probably more than doubled my pay.”

“The Action-Man” was a regular fixture on MMA’s regional scene before finally making it to the UFC roughly a year ago. Since then, he’s been winning fans thanks to a combination of his easy-going personality, and action-packed fights. Three wins in the UFC, and two finishes, hasn’t hurt— but with Hermansson, he’s ascending to the next level.

“People have pointed out like ‘hey if you win this fight, you could be like one or two fights away from a title shot.’ And that’s just something I’ve never actually thought about,” Curtis said. “I’ve never once thought about it, it’s never crossed my mind. I’ve never given myself the leeway to dream that far ahead — you dream a step at a time. So that’s kind of interesting. I don’t know.”

The goal in fighting for Chris Curtis, he continued, “was to go as far as I could go. I never said ‘I want to be a world champion, I want to be this guy, this guy.’ My goal has always been to go as far as I can go.” For his own sake, he couldn’t quit before he got to that point, “because I had to justify the sacrifice that I’ve made and the people around me have made. So my goal has always been to go as far as I can go. And I think winning against Jack puts me in line to see just how far I can go. It puts me very close to the top, and that’s more important to me than anything else. Just being close to the top, and seeing how close to the ceiling am I gonna be able to get?”

The journey over the past 12 months, he told Cageside Press on Wednesday, has been very exciting, but also “much the same.”

“It’s exciting because I’ve always wanted to be in the UFC, my goal was always to get here and go as far as I can go. And I’ve had things go wrong at every turn to prevent me from getting to this point,” explained Curtis. “And to finally be there is one thing, but after that, not only am I here, I’m 3-0, there are people who like me out there, which is interesting, that’s new to me, a lot of fan support. It’s been insane. I’m co-main on a card in England. So it’s been a crazy 12 months, but at the same time, nothing’s really changed for me as a person.”

That goes right down to his ride. “I still drive the same piece of sh*t car, even though I’ve got a lot more money in the bank. I get up, I got to the gym, I go home, I play games, I sleep. I’m not doing anything new,” said Curtis, whose one expense since joining the UFC has been to buy a new computer. “The experiences are insane, but as a person, I try to remain the exact same person that got me here. I have to work hard, I know I have to work hard.”

Watch the full UFC London media day appearance from Chris Curtis above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 23, 2022 at the O2 Arena in London, England.