Before CES MMA World Welterweight Champion Chris Curtis defends his title against red-hot Wilfredo Santiago at CES 42 on March 31 at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., LIVE on AXS TV Fights, the Cincinnati fighter sat down with ProMMANow.
How does it feel to be back defending your championship for CES in March?
I’m just glad to be fighting, man. I haven’t fought since June, so I’m really glad to be defending this belt. Hopefully this guy makes weight, unlike the last guy. But, you know, I had an unfortunate showing last time so I know I can do better.
Why have you been inactive since the summer?
I was dealing with some injuries that put me on the shelf until August. From that point on, I’ve had fighter after fighter back out, turn fights down, not sign contracts. I’ve done two boxing matches in that time, but it’s been hell to get me a fight, man.
How will it feel to be back in the cage?
I’m just excited. I wanna fight, man. I’ve been busting my ass at home and out in here California with Team Quest. I’m just so freaking excited to be fighting, finally. My full-time job is training. My job is to fight, so I haven’t made money in a while so it’s really frustrating. I just want to go hit people.
Do you know much about Wilfredo Santiago?
Absolutely nothing. I know he’s 5-foot-7.
Is there any way he beats you? Is there any way you don’t defend your belt?
I just don’t see it, man. I’ve been asking all of my coaches and I honestly feel that I’m a better wrestler, I’m a better grappler, and I’m damn sure a better boxer. We both have boxing backgrounds, apparently, but he’s a brawler and I’m a boxer. You box a brawler, and I don’t think he has the footwork to really put those punches to good use. I don’t think that’s an issue. I honestly feel I’ll be able to counter those shots. I’m going to break him down badly. He’s a big, heavy puncher but I’m going to see those shots coming and I’m going to knock him out.