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NSAC stops last minute booking of James Krause vs. Chris Curtis at UFC Vegas 39

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Deron Winn fell ill during fight week, and an attempt to find a replacement fight has resulted in a lot of last minute scrambling.

At this point, it seems worth asking whether or not James Krause is even interested in taking fights that aren’t put together at the last possible moment. Krause has fought twice since 2019, and both those contests were late fill-ins. His last bout against Trevin Giles was especially notable for the fact that Krause took it on only one day’s notice—when Antonio Arroyo had to withdraw due to a medical issue during fight week.

While Krause may have lost the bout via split decision, he was widely praised for his heart and courage and ability to go out and perform without any meaningful prep. But, if Texas was willing to let him take that kind of chance, it doesn’t look like the Nevada State Athletic Commission is nearly so interested.

That’s after this week’s beleaguered UFC Vegas 39 event took yet another hit, with Deron Winn pulling out of his fight against Phil Hawes on weigh in day. The UFC looked to replace Winn with former PFL talent Chris Curtis. Curtis weighed in at 184.5 lbs for the last minute middleweight booking, but Hawes declined the bout. Krause, who is at the UFC Apex facility to corner Tim Elliott on tomorrows Fight Night card, offered to step-up and fight Curtis instead.

Unfortunately for the fighters, Ariel Helwani reports that the NSAC wouldn’t sign off on the deal.

In happier news, Eric Nicksick – Curtis’ coach at Xtreme Couture – reports that Curtis will still remain under contract with the promotion. An especially deserved signing, considering the longtime journeyman put up a highlight reel KO in a 2018 on DWCS, but failed to receive a contract offer. Curtis (26-8) has seven wins and three losses since his Contender Series showing—with five of those wins coming via stoppage.

That news leaves this weekend’s event with just nine bouts, headlined by a women’s strawweight top contenders’ fight between Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez. A welterweight bout between Randy Brown and Jared Gooden will serve as the co-main event, despite Gooden missing weight by three pounds.