UFC Fight Night Picks and Predictions: Hot Prospect of the Week Chris Curtis

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Chris Curtis celebrates after his TKO victory against Phillip Hawes in their middleweight bout during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP.

Join us as we preview a hot UFC prospect from this week’s UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan vs. Gamrot MMA event.

Read on for our complete UFC Vegas 57 betting guide – taking a first look at our hottest prospect of the week, Chris Curtis, and his opponent Rodolfo Viera, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC picks.

Chris Curtis vs. Rodolfo Vieira

UFC Middleweight Bout

Saturday, June 25, 2022 – 10:05 PM EDT at UFC Apex

UFC Hot Prospect: Chris "The Action Man" Curtis

  • Record: 28-8-0

Tough Start

It's been a tedious journey for 34-year-old Chris Curtis, but the Ohio native eventually made it to the big stage after compiling a 23-8 professional MMA record.

Initially, Curtis was called up for Dana White's Contender Series in 2018, and despite an impressive round-three knockout, the UFC surprisingly failed to offer him a contract. Curtis moved on to fight under the PFL banner and subsequently held a 1-3 losing record to then retire from the sport.

After reconsidering his pro MMA career, Curtis returned to the cage in 2020 and has accumulated a 6-fight win streak to this day.

Curtis's UFC Career

The UFC came calling in 2021, and late last year, Curtis put his name on the map with back-to-back knockout stoppages over Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen.

With a professional career dating back to 2009, Curtis is one of the rare veterans inside the UFC that is still categorized as a newcomer in the promotion.

His overall MMA skillset isn't complex, but he's undoubtedly one of the best boxers competing at 185lbs.


Chris Curtis: Fight Analysis

As a natural southpaw, Curtis already possesses an advantage over the majority of orthodox opponents.

When we evaluate his technical striking ability, there aren't many fighters in the UFC who would find success in outboxing him.

Attacking

Curtis often uses double jabs where he'll be setting up his power left hand, and he notably focuses on body shots in a sport where body attacks are often neglected.

Defending

He boasts excellent defensive attributes as well as offensive, presenting beautiful shoulder rolls and head movement that can leave the opposition attacking an empty space.

Grappling

Curtis doesn't tend to focus on grappling, but his experience and ability to defend in grappling situations are enough to prevent him from being finished in precarious situations.

He's been stopped inside the distance on one occasion during his lengthy career, as durability and cardio are notable attributes to highlight in his overall MMA skillset.


Curtis vs. Viera: Betting Pick and Odds

Rodolfo Viera (8-1-0) entered the UFC as one of the most feared Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists on the planet, and he sure lived up to the hype. However, when Anthony Hernandez submitted Viera, the glaring holes in his MMA game were exposed. The betting public has been tentative to support the Brazilian, who's often aligned with overpriced moneyline odds.

Top-rated sportsbooks opened Curtis as a -180 favorite, and I believe their judgment was almost perfect. However, the line is now sitting at -125, and I love this value as the public continues doubting Curtis's ability to win this bout.

I've watched Curtis defend submissions and return to his feet on multiple occasions. Viera isn't the type of grappler that will hold his opponents in position, so I believe the majority of this fight will take place on the feet. This is Curtis's fight to lose versus a fighter in Viera who'll stand no chance exchanging shots with the Ohio native.

UFC Pick: Chris Curtis to Win (-135) [1.35u returns 1u] at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Chris Curtis to Win (-135)
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UFC Vegas 57 Main Card and Odds

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.