Whether you were there live, watching on TV, or watching online, you got your money’s worth for Fight Night 9 in Lethbridge, Alta.
In the main event, Chris Curtis (now 20-5) became a double champ for Fight Night, defeating Matt Dwyer (now 11-5) by majority decision to win the middleweight strap in a fight that left the canvas stained with blood. Curtis also holds the Fight Night welterweight title.
After a slow first round, Curtis began landing more shots the longer the fight went on, eventually landing a devastating shot in the fourth round, which broke Dwyer’s nose and made for a bloody finish to the fight.
“He’s tougher than I gave him credit for in my head,” said Curtis in an interview.
“I don’t know what’s in the Canadian water, but it’s like Wolverine Weapon-X. The last two Canadians I fought are just indestructible. He just kept getting up. He wouldn’t give up.”
On a resume that now boasts six-straight wins, Curtis’ defeat of Dwyer is his first win over a UFC-veteran since back in 2010, which only makes the victory even stronger.
Curtis said although it wasn’t a stoppage, he’s hoping the UFC sees enough in his performance to offer him his much-deserved shot in the big show.
“Once we started going, everyone said it was an awesome fight to watch, so hopefully they look at it and say I’m the guy they want to see,” said Curtis.
“I went up a weight class on a week’s notice. I didn’t bitch or complain. I may not have gotten the quick finish, but I beat a guy up, took him apart, and left half his blood in the cage.”
Neufeld Victorious in Featherweight Prospect Battle
In the highly-anticipated professional featherweight bout on the card, Lucas Neufeld (now 4-1) put on his best performance to date in front of his deafening hometown crowd, defeating a tough opponent in Gagan Gill (now 2-1) by unanimous decision.
In a fight where both fighters landed significant shots on the feet, Neufeld said it was going to take a lot more than a few good shots to steal the win from him.
“He swung and he landed. But there was no way I was going to let a punch or a single shot take away a victory of mine,” said Neufeld in an interview.
“Whatever I had to walk through to get those legs or to land shots of my own, I was going to do it.”
Neufeld successfully avenged his first professional loss he suffered back in September, and did so against one of B.C.’s top up-and-coming featherweights in Gill.
Once his 40-day medical suspension is complete, Neufeld will look to keep the ball rolling in the Fight Night cage once again.
“It sounds like Fight Night’s next event will be in Medicine Hat, and word on the street is they want yours truly to main-event it,” said Neufeld.
“They haven’t mentioned an opponent yet. I have a few in mind, but I’ll keep that to myself for now.”
In one of the more intriguing amateur bouts on the evening, Usman Khattak (now 3-2) handed Samson Bieri (now 2-1) his first amateur loss in a back-and-forth war, ending in a unanimous decision in Khattak’s favour.
Khattak said he knew Bieri would come out looking to land heavy shots, but prepared himself mentally for that before the fight.
“I told myself anything this kid throws at me I’m going to walk right through it,” said Khattak in an interview.
“I just didn’t want to let any of it phase me, so I just kept walking forward, stalking him down and doing my thing.”
This was Khattak’s first bout at featherweight, with all four of his previous fights taking place at lightweight.
He said wanted to take this fight at 145 pounds to keep his body conditioned for the upcoming 2019 National Amateur Championship in April, in which he will compete at lightweight.
“Nationals is definitely something that’s on my mind for April,” said Khattak.
“I know in Nationals you have to weigh in every day, so I thought it would be good to regulate my body weight down now so it isn’t too hard for me during Nationals.”
In the co-main event, Cody Jerome became the amateur muay thai champion at 160 pounds, defeating Suraj Bangarh by unanimous decision.
Semir Ali, Quinton Tait, Phil Bernarte, and Luc Bernard were also victorious on the evening.