UFC 297 Marc Andre Barriault aims for third win in a

UFC 297: Marc-André Barriault aims for third win in a row

TORONTO | Marc-André Barriault (16-6-0, 10 KOs, 1 submission) returns to the octagon for the first time since June and looks to extend his win streak to three at UFC 297.

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On Saturday, the middleweight (185 lbs) from Outaouais will face American Chris Curtis (30-10-0, 17 KOs, 1 submission), who has won only one of his last four duels.

“This is the type of fight I particularly want at this stage of my career,” Barriault said this week. I don't want to choose, but it's like candy. We have similar styles, I think this will be an explosive fight.”

The UFC believes in the potential of this clash as it is part of the main card, a huge show of respect for the two veterans.

Top 15

Barriault makes no secret of it, he's aiming to break into the top 15 middleweights and at 33 years old he knows it's time for him to step up his game.

This fight against Chris Curtis is just a milestone that will lead him to his goal and if all goes well, he could achieve it in the next few months. This fight is therefore crucial for him.

“I have competed against good opponents in the past, I believe I have my place in the top 15. I always want to give the performance that leaves no doubt, but I have to be myself and go where the fight takes me.”

“I see myself winning convincingly and when I look at the rankings there is a nice variety of fighters in front of me. I think three fights could allow me to fight for something meaningful. I have just signed a four-fight contract and that would allow me to prepare for my future,” said the man who made no secret of his intention to open his own restaurant after his Budoka career ends.


At the press day on Wednesday, the respect between the two fighters was clearly evident.

“I like Marc-André, I would almost rather compete against someone else,” said Curtis. For me it’s a battle where the main thing is to be consistent.”

The 36-year-old American is not offended that Barriault sees this encounter as a stepping stone towards the world rankings.

“I was the ticket into the top 15 for a lot of fighters, that's what everyone says about me, but I'm the gatekeeper and nobody gets in. “I always think I'm better than others in every way.”

For Barriault, this will be the opportunity to test the machine, as he was forced to miss a duel against Michel Pereira last fall due to a persistent injury.

Everything to win

Chris Curtis is ranked 14th in the middleweight division, so Barriault believes a win would move him closer to the top 15, but he doesn't want to pay too much attention to that detail.

“I don’t care what he’s done in the past. He has a ranking, I don't. So I have everything to win in this fight.”

Calm and relaxed in life, Barriault wants to adopt the same attitude on Saturday evening.

“I want to be smart, be myself and fight the good fight. I feel more comfortable than when I started. I have to stay humble, I don’t want to do too much and I want to have fun.”

Quebecer Yohan Lainesse (9-2-0, 6 KOs) is also part of this card. On the undercard he faces Britain's Sam Patterson (10-2-1, 4 KOs, 5 submissions) in a welterweight (170 pound) bout.