Luis Pena clinched an important win over Steve Garcia at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 169. But it is not a fight he would like to watch himself.
Pena won the bout via unanimous decision on the preliminary card on Saturday. It was his ground dominance that swayed the decision in his favor, even though Garcia was way ahead in number of successful strikes.
Pena talked about what went on in his mind during the fight in the post-event media conference. MMA Junkie reported on it.
Luis Pena speaks about UFC Norfolk fight
In the interview, Pena admitted to have had a moment inside the Octagon where he wanted to pump the gas on the action and put up an entertaining show for the fans. But the thought of securing a victory and the winning purse made him change his mind.
"There was definitely a time when I had his back that I thought, ‘Forget this. Let me push off and stand this thing up and bang.’ But then I got back in myself and focused on winning. As much as I want to entertain, I want to win and I need to make that money."
Even though Pena is obviously glad about the win, he would have liked to achieve it in a different manner. He considers himself to be an entertainer, and if he was among the audience, this is not what he would have expected from himself.
"I’m happy with the win, but that’s not the way that I like to do it. This is my job, this is my career, and I want to put on a show for the fans. Sometimes, when you are in that situation, you have to do what you have to do. But I’m an entertainer. I go out there and put on a show for my fans. I like when people tell me that they like watching me fight, and I wouldn’t want to watch that fight."
Pena also talked about how the zero hour change in opponent threw him a bit off his game. After the newcomer Alex Munoz had to pull out of the bout due to injuries, Garcia, also a debutant, moved up a weight class to fill in his shoes. Pena had to alter his fighting strategy according to the new rival. But he refuses to use that an excuse for his lackluster performance at Chartway Arena.
"As much as I’d like to say that the last-minute change in opponents messed with me, once I got in there it was just a fight. It was a big stylistic change, and we had to redo the game plan on the fly, but I can’t use that as an excuse."
This was Pena's fourth win in UFC, and he bounced back well from his loss against Matt Frevola in his last outing.Published 04 Mar 2020, 16:56 IST