BARUERI, Brazil -- Chris Cariaso had his back against the wall when he stepped inside the Octagon against Iliarde Santos at UFC Fight Night 29 in Barueri, Brazil. However, he saved his job with a second-round TKO win over the Brazilian after suffering back-to-back losses in the UFC.
"It feels great to get back to the win column," Cariaso told MMAFighting.com after the fight on Wednesday. "I had a tough run ever since I moved to 125, but now I kind of feel that I found my home at 125. I think you’re going to see a big improvement in the next couple fights."
"It was a great experience," he continued. "Sao Paulo is a really great city. I’m happy to be back in Brazil. Coming to a hostile territory and fighting a Brazilian in Brazil, of course the fans are going to hate me, but I think that after this fight some of the Brazilians fans will like me now."
Santos immediately protested against the stoppage, but Cariaso sees no reason for that.
"I thought it was a good stoppage," he said. "He was definitely starting to not fight back and I was finding home for a lot more strikes, so I definitely think it was a good stoppage."
Cariaso decided to move down to flyweight after consecutive victories over Takeya Mizugaki and Vaughan Lee. After defeating Josh Ferguson in his 125-pound debut, Cariaso lost to John Moraga and Jussier Formiga, but he doesn’t think about moving back to the bantamweight division.
"It just seemed that the guys just kept getting bigger and bigger every single fight, and I’m kind of in between the divisions," he said. "125 is hard to make, 135 is too easy to make. If they had a 130-pound weight class it would be perfect to me, but now I’m at home at 125."
"Kamikaze" wants to fight the winner of Dec.14’s bout between Scott Jorgensen and Ian McCall, who meet at UFC on FOX 9. "I wanna fight anybody in the top 3," he said. "I think that a great fight would be me against the winner of Jorgensen and McCall."