Chris Curtis wasn’t surprised when his longtime teammate Sean Strickland took the Alex Pereira fight.
Strickland is set to face Pereira on the main card of UFC 276 in a highly-anticipated bout. It will serve as Pereira’s first-ranked opponent and the winner will likely get the next title shot and for Curtis, he says he wasn’t surprised that Strickland took this fight.
“Sean’s all about what gets him money. He’s getting paid well for this one and I’m pretty sure winning this fight does put him in that contention picture. The title picture at 185 is pretty muddled with all the rematches,” Curtis said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com about Strickland. “This gives him a pretty clear path to it going through Pereira and puts him in a line for a title shot. I’m pretty sure Sean doesn’t care about a title, rather the money that comes with it is what excites him. It gets him in line to get more money so I’m not surprised at all.”
Not only is Chris Curtis not surprised that Sean Strickland took the Alex Pereira fight, but he believes Strickland has a clear path to victory.
Curtis believes the UFC expects Strickland will strike with Pereira. However, he says everything in training and what all the coaches have told him to use his wrestling to control the fight and sink in a choke.
“Here’s the thing, Sean’s the first ranked guy he’s fought, so they really want to fast track him to Izzy. But, you can’t, unless you are Conor McGregor, get a title shot without fighting a top-ranked guy,” Curtis said about Strickland. “If I was a matchmaker I would think Sean is not going to knock him out so we save our value in that. If he has to be tested, Sean is one of the safer tests at the top, style-wise. But, I think people forget Sean is a grappler by trade but he doesn’t like grappling a lot, he likes hitting things.
“Sean has become a very good wrestler in the last five years, ever since the Usman fight,” Curtis continued about Strickland-Pereira. “Yeah, Sean could be an idiot and have a kickboxing match but he also could slam Pereira to the ground and strangle him or beat him. I think they think Sean’s going to have a kickboxing match but if he listens to everyone, he’ll strangle him and get the title shot.”
If Strickland does submit Pereira as Curtis says, he could very well face the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier next.
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