Brazilian jiu-jitsu start Rodolfo Vieira knows what the easiest path to a win against heavy-handed striker Chris Curtis is at UFC Vegas 57. Nonetheless, that does not mean the grappler has no faith in his stand-up skills.
In an interview with Combate, Rodolfo explained he does intend to take down Curtis should the opportunity present itself. However, Vieira is confident he can hold his own on the feet and even land the better strikes.
After pulling out from a bout against Wellington Turman due to medical reasons back in January, when Vieira was diagnosed with a malformation in the brain, the Brazilian is just happy to be back.
“I’ve never faced a striker in the UFC. I’ve faced guys who were better strikers than me, but they were grapplers. Now that I’ve been through all this (the health scare), he (UFC president Dana White) gives me a striker? That’s cold.” Vieira joked.
“I accepted it. He’s a dangerous guy. It’s all good. He’s very good, very experienced. He has 28 wins and only eight losses. He has in defeats what I have in fights. He’s very dangerous on the feet. The only thing I have more than him is submission wins and UFC fights. He has fought a lot before that, though. He’s very experienced and I respect him a lot. I believe in my jiu-jitsu and I will be able to impose my gameplan. I’ll protect myself on the feet, take him down at the right time and take the fight to where I’m better than him.”
“I will take him down, I just don’t know when.” Vieira continued. “I will not be desperate to take him down, like I used to be. If I have to stay on the feet, I will. I’m pretty confident on the feet, We did a great job with Mano Santana. My footwork is good. We practiced a lot of boxing and karate. I’m confident. I’m going to fight MMA, but it’s logical that each fighter will try to take the fight to where they are better.”
In his last outing, Vieira (8-1) picked up his third submission win in the UFC, when he tapped out Dustin Stoltzfus, back in July 2021. The win made the 32-year-old recover from a submission loss to Anthony Hernanded in February of the same year. Before that, Rodolfo scored victories over Saparbek Safarov and Oskar Piechota to start his Octagon career.
Now, Vieira is expected to take on Curtis at UFC Vegas 57, on June 25, at the UFC Apex. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight bout between rising contenders Matheusz Gamrot and Arman Tsarukyan.
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