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Chris Curtis criticises UFC 297 commentators after win over Marc-Andre Barriault

Chris Curtis has hit out at Daniel Cormier and Dominick Cruz over their commentary of his win at UFC 297, saying he gets ‘s*** on by them every time I fight’.

Curtis beat Marc-Andre Barriault via split decision on Saturday (20 January), handing the Canadian a defeat in front of his compatriots in Toronto, but it wasn’t just the result that deflated the crowd.

Despite Curtis and Barriault doing their best to push the action, their middleweight contest left fans frustrated, and Curtis worries that viewers at home will have also felt let down – but more so due to the commentary team’s description of the fight.

“I get s*** on by [Cormier] and Dominick Cruz every time I fight, no matter what’s happening,” Curtis said on The MMA Hour on Monday (22 January), calling out the former UFC champions. “[Cormier] 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.

“I hear Dominick Cruz say, ‘It’s just like a sparring match,’ and then... Not to be a d***, but people are going to latch on to what the commentary says. 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***ing 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***ing commentary, I get to hear: ‘It’s a sparring match and low volume.’

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“This is why I watch fights with the volume off, this is exactly why. You know what? 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 [Kelvin] 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.

“Dominick Cruz, stand here 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***ing hard, he was hitting me hard, I feel it since the fight.”

Curtis’s win at UFC 297 was his first since December 2022. The American, 36, lost to Gastelum on points in April and fought Nassourdine Imavov to a No Contest in June. The victory over Barriault lifted the “Action Man” one spot in the middleweight rankings, from 14th to 13th.