Curtis concentrated on nasty body shots to slow Vieira down round after round while also stuffing a total of 20 takedown attempts to ultimately secure the victory. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Curtis, who remains undefeated since joining the UFC roster in late 2021.
“Rip to the body, definitely [the game plan],” Curtis said afterwards. “A lot of wrestling these last few months, it worked. I like violence. I’m a very nice guy. Hats off to Rodolfo, his boxing was much improved.”
There was no secret to Vieira’s game plan as the Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist did everything possible to get inside so he could take the fight down to the ground. The only problem was that Curtis consistently shrugged him off, which made Vieira work that much harder to try and drag the action to the canvas.
On the feet, Curtis was wary to really let his hands go due to the threat of the grappling coming back from Vieira and that negated some of his best weapons. As a result, Vieira was able to mix in some kicks along with a slick jab that kept snapping Curtis’ head back.
When Curtis finally started to find his rhythm, he hammered Vieira to the body and then went back up top to the head. Curtis was consistent with his body work and as a result, Vieira’s movement started to slow while he caught his breath.
Realizing that Vieira’s conditioning was failing him, Curtis went on the attack as the third round got started with the Cincinnati native becoming much more active while throwing a variety of strikes. While Vieira was still willing to stand in the pocket during exchanges, Curtis connected with greater impact and that resulted in more damage being done.
He also continued to shut down every single attempt from Vieira to get the fight down to the ground and that didn’t do Vieira’s gas tank any favors. Even with Curtis’ output starting to slow, he still landed punishing shots to the body until the final horn sounded.
Going from retirement to three wins in the UFC is a massive turnaround for Curtis, who remains a true feel good story after his latest performance Saturday night.
Get the latest gear
- 2023 Panini Prizm UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Panini Select UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- Islam Makhachev Walkout Jersey
- UFC Fanatics Single Glove Display Case
- 2022 Panini Donruss Optic Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Donruss UFC Retail Blaster Box
- Miesha Tate UFC Authentic Plaque
- Brock Lesnar WWE Home Sweet Home Collage