Chris Curtis blasts Dominick Cruz for ‘stupid f****** commentary’ at UFC 297

Chris Curtis scored a big win at UFC 297, even if he didn’t win over everyone.

During Curtis’ three-round fight with Marc-Andre Barriault this past Saturday in Toronto, “The Action Man” and his opponent were occasionally booed as they engaged in a tactical striking battle. Curtis went on to earn a split decision and snap a three-fight winless skid, but the moment was somewhat spoiled by the bout’s critical reception.

What bothered Curtis the most was the commentary by analysts Dominick Cruz and Daniel Cormier, who Curtis says have never given him a fair shake.

“I get s*** on by ‘DC’ and Dominick Cruz every time I fight,” Curtis said on The MMA Hour. “No matter what’s happening. DC was kinder than before, but Dominick Cruz is just like, ‘It looks like he’s sparring,’ and blah blah blah. Bro, [Barriault is] a solid man. He’s been knocked out once, I have been knocked out once. It’s not going to be easy to knock the other down, it’s just not. I hit him with some s*** that I’ve dropped people with, and he just kind of looked at it. I elbowed him a few times, I went to move in, he’s just staring at me like he’s back there. I hear Dominick Cruz say, ‘It’s just like a sparring match,’ and then, not to be a dick, but people are going to latch on to what the commentary says, and now I hear, ‘He didn’t even fight hard. It was a low-energy sparring match.’ Stand in front of me and let me hit you the same way.

“Marc-Andre Barriault is a f****** tank. The dude’s been stopped once, and that’s why. I don’t know where you guys found that man, but he’s a tank. I hit him with everything and the kitchen sink, and he stayed on his feet and he kept throwing back. The dude hit me with some s***, and my face still hurts today. But because of Dominick Cruz’s stupid f****** commentary, I get to hear, ‘It’s a sparring match and low volume.’ … This is why I watch fights with the volume off. This is exactly why.”

A veteran of 42 pro fights, Curtis is no stranger to impressive knockouts, including three in his five UFC wins, but he hasn’t put an opponent away inside the distance since December 2022. That said, it was just two fights prior to UFC 297 that he won a “Fight of the Night” award in a loss to Kelvin Gastelum.

Rather than change up his style, Curtis welcomes Cruz to stand across from him sometime and get a hands-on experience of what he has to offer in the striking department.

“You know what?” Curtis said. “I cannot win to save my life. ‘Aw, he’s low output.’ I did more than him and I threw more punches in this fight than the Gastelum fight, which was applauded for the action. I had 40, 90, then 100-something punches in the round. I’m just like, I can’t make people happy. It’s fine. I’m happy with myself. I did the things I wanted to do. I didn’t make the same mistakes over and over and over. I’m happy. I can always do better, sure, but I’m proud of what I did and if the fans didn’t like it, I’m sorry. It’s a pro fight.

“But then again, I laughed when I saw people talking about the [Sean] Strickland-Dricus [du Plessis] fight. ‘They’re just throwing sloppy punches’ and blah blah blah, so apparently Sean and Dricus are throwing big, sloppy, power punches with no technique, but according to Dominick Cruz and now the internet because everyone just latches on to commentators, ‘Aw, you’re just sparring.’

“Dominick Cruz, stand here Dominick Cruz, and let me hit you the way I was hitting him and see if it’s just sparring. No, we’re two large, solid men. I promise you guys, I was hitting him f****** hard, he was hitting me hard, I feel it since the fight. [Cruz] is like, ‘It looks like sparring.’ I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, the narrative is glorious.’ So I’m proud of myself, I’m very proud of myself.”

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