UFC 297 Recap: Chris Curtis wins split decision over Marc-Andre Barriault

Nov 6, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Chris Curtis (blue gloves) defeats Phillip Hawes (red gloves) during UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

On the main card of UFC 297, we saw a really fun matchup in the middleweight division. Canada’s own “Powerbar” Marc-Andre Barriault (16-6) was taking on  “The Action Man” Chris Curtis (30-10, 1 NC).

Curtis made a splash when debuting in the UFC by winning his first three fights which included a knockout over Brendan Allen. However, after that 3-0 start, he’s just 1-2, 1 NC in his last four fights. While he’s looked solid, he’s not putting his foot on the gas enough.

Marc-Andre Barriault did not get off to a good start inside the octagon. He lost his first three fights and was on the verge of getting cut. However, since the start of 2021, he’s gone 5-2 including back-to-back wins heading into tonight.

UFC 297 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 297 middleweight contest kicks off with immediate pressure from Barriault. Curtis circles on the outside and both men are trying to gauge the range here. Barriault circles on the outside and throws a body kick. 1-2 down the middle from Curtis just misses. Leg kick lands for Curtis.

Nice jab and a leg kick lands for Curtis. Another nice calf kick from Curtis lands. Big kick from Barriault is blocked by Curtis. Big shot lands for Barriault. Leg kick now from Barriault and a jab from Curtis. Halfway through the first round and Curtis is pressing forward a bit here.

Big body kick lands for Barriault and a jab lands for Curtis. Combination now from Curtis and a leg kick from Barriault. Barriault pushes forward but eats a couple of counter shots from Curtis. Not as much action as I figured we’d see in this opening round and the crowd is becoming frustrated.

Nice combination from Curtis lands. Barriault pushes forward but he eats a couple of hooks to the body from Curtis. Barriault lands a couple of shots and the first round comes to a close at UFC 297. Likely a round for Chris Curtis.

Round 2

Entering the second and I don’t think either fighter could be confident in that first round. They touch gloves and Curtis is talking right away. Thirty seconds in and nothing really thrown yet. Two straight kicks from Barriault and Curtis lands a leg kick. Curtis lands a jab as Barriault tries to come forward.

Lead left hook lands for Barriault. Body kick lands for Barriault and Curtis presses forward behind the jab. Jab from Barriault and the crowd is booing. Lead uppercut lands for Curtis and now a left straight. Curtis is opening up his hands a bit more here. Barriault is fighting very tentative right now.

A couple of nice right counters land for Curtis. Big combination from Curtis and Barriault is bleeding now. Nice body shot lands for Barriault and Curtis fires one back. They both trade body kicks in the center. Counter left to the body lands for Curtis. Left straight lands for Curtis and a body kick for Barriault.

Barriault is starting to fire more here with 90 seconds left in the round. Combination from Curtis and immediate pressure from Barriault. Both men trade left straights. Nice combination lands for Curtis and Barriault lands a counter left hand. Lead elbow from Curtis lands and the round ends. Honestly not sure who is ahead here at UFC 297.

Round 3

Entering the final round and both men should really go for it here. Barriault opens with a crisp jab. Nice rip to the body lands for Curtis. Barriault lands and Curtis fires back two straight jabs. Left straight for Curtis and now a stiff jab. Big rip to the body from Curtis and Barriault lands an uppercut.

Body kick from Barriault and now a jab. Left straight for Curtis and Barriault pushes forward. Big right hand lands for Curtis and Barriault pushes through it. More pressure from Barriault and Curtis lands a couple of shots. In tight and Barriault lands a nice uppercut. Two elbows from Curtis and Barriault fires a combination.

Lead elbow from Barriault. Nice combination from Barriault and he finishes it with three straight right hands. Barriault is coming on strong here. Uppercut now from Barriault and Curtis tries to fire back. Short elbow from Barriault. Right hand from Curtis. Barriault really pushing forward but Curtis lands.

Phone booth fight here as they just clinch. Both men are just winging haymakers here and the fight ends. Great finish to the fight but who knows who will win this one at UFC 297.

Chris Curtis def. Marc-Andre Barriault by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)