“The Action Man” Chris Curtis (16-6) will defend his professional welterweight title for the second time when he squares off against Jason Norwood (18-4). The two welterweights will headline CES 49 tonight at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Curtis earned the promotion’s welterweight title when he submitted Gil de Freitas (16-5) in the first round. Shortly after the win over de Freitas, Curtis was scheduled to defend his title for the first time against Nah-Shon Burrell (15-8).
However, Burnell came in a little heavy forcing the main event to become a non-title fight. That unfortunate turn of events turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Curtis as he came out on the losing end of a split decision. The loss ended snapping a four-fight winning streak. “Had I not been robbed in the Nah-Shon fight, I would be on an eight-fight winning streak,” Curtis told MMAWeekly.com. Since the loss, Curtis has gone on to win his next four fights.
In early 2017, Curtis successfully defended his title against Wilfredo Santiago Jr. (6-4) at CES 42. It was a close call for the Cincinnati-native, as Santiago landed a devastating right that had Curtis on wobbly legs. Santiago followed it up with more punishment, but it wasn’t enough to put Curtis away. Curtis was able to recover and finish Santiago shortly after.
Winning three times last year, Curtis is back into the cage for the first time this year. “2017 was a good year,” Curtis told MMAWeekly.com. “Everything went well. I feel I performed pretty well.”
Tonight, Curtis will face one of his toughest opponents he’s ever met and also one of his least favorite types of fighters. Norwood is known to use his wrestling abilities to grind out decision wins. Six of his last eights have come by way of decision. Curtis will look to utilize his jiu-jitsu skills to neutralize Norwood on the ground.
This match-up with Norwood is precisely what Curtis needs right now in his career. The win could very well put Curtis back into the UFC conversation. Curtis who has been in the fight business for a long time has made a name for himself throughout the regional circuits. The loss against Burrell was an unfortunate setback and one that remains on his mind.
Despite never getting the elusive call from the leading organization, it hasn’t deterred him from doing what he loves- competing and winning. Tonight will be no different as Curtis will look do successfully defend his title once again.
The main card will air live on AXS TV which includes the main event.