Chris Curtis is making an appeal to regulators of the fight between himself and Kelvin Gastelum as he believes he was treated unfairly during their UFC 287 bout. Despite losing by a unanimous decision, Curtis claims that an alleged headbutt from Gastelum cost him a crucial round in the second, where he was knocked down and had to recover.
Curtis is therefore hoping that the Florida State Athletic Commission will overturn Gastelum’s win and declare the match a no-contest. He believes that Florida’s reputation for facilitating such appeals bodes well for his case.
Referee Marc Goddard did not stop the action during the second round of the fight and did not call any fouls. Despite acknowledging to Curtis that a clash of heads had occurred, Goddard did not deem it intentional, which meant that the fight was allowed to continue.
Curtis believes that the fight should have been paused to allow him to recover as it would if Gastelum had been struck in the groin. He is thus of the opinion that it is likely that a technical fault caused him to be knocked out, given that he had displayed an unfaltering degree of control up until that point.
Curtis does not dispute that Gastelum won the first round, but he is convinced he won the third round. The second round, while the closest one, was still won by Gastelum, but Curtis argues that given the significance of the headbutt, the decision becomes more contentious.
Curtis says that he had been leading the fight until Gastelum’s headbutt knocked him down, after which he had to fight to regain his position. Curtis has addressed the accusations from some fight fans who think he is just being a sore loser.
Curtis criticizes Gastelum’s comeback story narrative, saying that it has served to cloud what really took place in the octagon. Curtis asserts that while he respects Gastelum’s journey, he did indeed beat him in the fight and that Gastelum’s comeback story has unfairly impacted the judges’ decision.
Apart from overturning the result, Curtis desires a rematch with Gastelum. He felt the financial and career impact of losing to a higher-ranked opponent acutely, particularly as he was unable to claim victory despite winning “Fight of the Night.”