“The Action Man” is a UFC fighter at last.
The UFC announced at Friday’s official weigh-ins for UFC Vegas 39 that Chris Curtis (26-8) is stepping in as a replacement opponent to fight fight Phil Hawes (11-2) on Saturday’s main card. Curtis makes his UFC debut on a day’s notice, taking the place of Deron Winn who was forced to withdraw for non-weight related health issues according to the UFC.
The change was first reported by MMA DNA.
This will not be the first visit to the UFC APEX for the well-traveled Curtis as he previously competed on the Contender Series in June 2018. Curtis defeated Sean Lally by third-round TKO on the UFC try-out show, but was not rewarded with a contract. The 34-year-old has competed for a number of notable promotions, including a stint with the PFL as part of their 2019 welterweight season. He has also announced his retirement multiple times, only to eventually return to competition.
Curtis enters Saturday’s bout on a five-fight win streak. He was scheduled to fight Evan Cutts at a Fury FC event on Nov. 14 in Denver, but will instead make the walk to the octagon on Saturday night.
Hawes, 32, is 3-0 in the UFC since earning a contract on the Contender Series in 2020. He has won seven straight fights overall. In his most recent bout in May, Hawes defeated Kyle Daukaus by unanimous decision.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.
UPDATE: MMA Fighting has confirmed with sources that Hawes has declined taking a short-notice opponent and the bout has been cancelled.