UFC London competitor Chris Curtis feels that fighters such as Nick Maximov need to expand their repertoire to find success.
Curtis is set to fill in on short notice against Jack Hermansson at UFC London on July 23. He’s filling in for the injured Darren Till, who suffered an undisclosed injury in camp.
Curtis has won eight fights in a row since falling to former PFL champion Ray Cooper III in 2019. As he’s found more success in MMA, he’s also become more vocal about a wide variety of topics in the sport.
Curtis has shown improved striking during his recent win streak after being known for his grappling earlier in his career. “The Action Man” had gone through some struggles that forced him to evolve and add more tools to his skillset in the cage.
One of the fighters in a similar position that Curtis was in is Maximov, a wrestler who tied the record for most takedowns by a UFC middleweight against Punahele Soriano. He followed it up by getting submitted in the first round against Andre Petroski back in May.
Chris Curtis Explains The Disadvantages Of Being A Specialist
During a recent interview with Brendan Fitzgerald, Curtis gave his thoughts on fighters like Maximov who specialize in a specific facet of MMA.
“I mean look at Nick Maximov,” Curtis said. “Wrestling specialist, really good at wrestling, sucks at everything else. I think being a specialist without any type of spread in your stat points doesn’t work the same anymore. The game has evolved so quickly and in such interesting directions that very, very few specialists are able to succeed. Izzy’s the one guy who is really a supreme specialist at this point and is doing well.
“I don’t know how long that’s gonna last…everyone’s learning the sport hand-in-hand, so learning one A+ stat is going to catch up to you… it just doesn’t work anymore.”
Maximov has laughed off criticisms from fighters such as Curtis and seems intent on retaining a wrestling-heavy approach. Curtis and Maximov are now in the same division and could potentially face each other in the future.
Curtis’ argument has merit when discussing other fighters such as UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. The 170lb champ was seen primarily as a grappling-first fighter at the beginning of his career before adding enhanced striking to his game.
While Maximov is just 24 years old and has plenty of time to develop his skills, Curtis thinks he’d be best served to focus on other elements of fighting to give his opponents more to think about.
Do you agree with Chris Curtis?