Rodolfo Vieira fought a tough fight against formidable opponent Chris Curtis during Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night, but unfortunately came up short on the judge’s scorecards and left the octagon with a defeat via unanimous decision.
Before the fight, Vieira noted that he felt it would be his grappling against Curtis’ striking, and for the most part, he was right. Unfortunately, the fight never went to the ground, as Curtis was able to successfully defend against every one of Vieira’s 20 takedown attempts, which should give Vieira some strong insight towards what areas he needs to improve in his next camp.
Though he went 0 for 20 on takedowns, Vieira was surprisingly sharp on the feet, especially during the first round and a half. Of course, some of the takedowns weren’t the most technical, especially in the later rounds, but the credit really needs to be given to Curtis’ TD defense.
Vieira’s jab was essential, and kept Curtis, who has extremely powerful hooks and uppercuts, at distance for most of the fight. As Vieira was establishing the jab, Curtis was working a right hook to the body over and over again. By the end of Round 2, the body shots started to add up, and Vieira, who has had some issues with cardio in his last few fights, started to wear away.
Although Round 3 opened with the betting odds at +450 that the fight would see the judge’s scorecards, somehow we made it to the end. In the last couple of minutes, it seemed like Curtis might be able to put him away, but Vieira just kept shooting for takedowns repeatedly and was able to survive Curtis’ power and precision.
The judges awarded a Unanimous Decision victory to Curtis and the two fighters continued to show tremendous respect for each other.
On media day, Vieira told reporters that he was feeling like a blue belt in MMA, “Now I’m feeling a blue belt, with no stripe… as soon as I got into UFC, I had only 5 fights and maybe three years of training. My first sparring, I was 27 years when I did my first sparring. After that, only jiu-jitsu and wrestling… It’s hard to get experience being inside the UFC, it’s very hard inside the biggest event of the world, the biggest company, where the best fighters are, but it is what it is.”
Vieira’s record falls to 9-2 and we could expect his return to the octagon sometime this year, assuming that he heals from this fight as planned.
Case in point: here are two examples where Curtis's rear uppercut to the body became an underhook when Vieira shot a reactive double:— Miguel Class (@MigClass) June 27, 2022