Earlier today, we learned of a new middleweight bout that’s being targeted for UFC 297. The first PPV of 2024 is expected to be a good one and today we learned that middleweights Chris Curtis (30-10) and Marc-Andre Barriault (16-6) will go at it on the card. The fight was first reported by Alex Behunin of MMA Mania.
UFC 297 is expected to take place on January 20th and is expected to take place in Toronto. For Barriault, this will be a homecoming fight for him. The middleweight standout really lives up to his nickname of “Powerbar” as he’s a guy who seemingly has an endless gas tank and never stops pushing the pace.
Ahead of this bout in January, Barriault has won two straight. Most recently, he fought Eryk Anders on the last Canadian card at UFC 289 in June. So, for the second straight fight, Barriault will get to fight in front of his home country. I expect him to have a large fan presence in January.
2023 ended up being a frustrating year for “The Action Man” Chris Curtis. After knocking out Joaquin Buckley to close out 2022, things looked really bright for Curtis. He was booked against former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum for his first fight of 2023.
In that fight, he took an accidental headbutt which dropped him and played a pretty big role in him ultimately losing a decision. From there, he fought Nassourdine Imavov in June. Unfortunately for Curtis, he was poked in the eye early in the second round and the fight ended in a No Contest.
The UFC booked him to fight at Noche UFC against Anthony Hernandez but Curtis injured his ribs and had to pull out of the fight. It was a frustrating year and Curtis wasn’t sure whether or not he would stay at 185 or explore 170. He’s opted to take this fight at 185 and the hope for Curtis is that his year is much better in 2024.