GOIANIA, Brazil -- UFC Fight Night 32 wasn’t a good night to be Brazilian.
Brazilian fighters went 4-5 in Goiania, Brazil, on Nov. 9, giving them their worst night in a UFC card in the country. Dustin Ortiz, the first "gringo" to step inside the Octagon that evening, guaranteed the first win for the foreigners with a third-round TKO victory over Jose Maria Tome.
"I felt like I was behind on the scorecards, especially in the first one," Ortiz said after the fight. "It was pretty close, but he got takedowns on me and took my back. In the second, I came there and tried to listen to my coach."
Ortiz was behind in all three scorecards, and he knew he had the finish Tome to earn his first UFC win.
"I hurt him, but I couldn’t let my hands go," he said. "I got the takedown and felt a little more comfortable there. So, going into the third I knew I had to be more aggressive, get the takedown and try to end the fight. I knew I had to end the fight."
Tome protested after the stoppage, claiming that Ortiz had hit him several times with punches in the back of the head.
"The referee explained it perfectly well in the back," Ortiz said. "If you’re hitting him and he turns his head, you get one punch and you need to change it to the other side because he has his head turned. So it was going back and forth, back and forth.
"I heard the referee say ‘protect yourself or I’ll stop it,’ so I just let them go, hit harder and fastest I could. You can see it. Go back and watch it, you’ll see."
Ortiz also had to fight back to defend a couple late-round guillotine chokes, and he said Tome was close to get the finish in the end of the opening round.
"The first one that he had was the one that was closer to get the finish, but I’m not going to give up," he said. "I’ll go out before I give up. I’m so much better than I did tonight."
The American flyweight improved his MMA record to 12-2 with a ninth stoppage win, and his victory meant more to him after everything he went through to step inside the Octagon.
Ortiz got to Brazil only two days before the weigh-ins after several flight issues.
"I didn’t really let it bother me," he said. "To be honest, I felt it in my legs. We flew two and half hours, turn around, went back, and then we had to come another ten hours. They had trouble with the navigation and they felt it was unsafe for us to continue to fly. It was safest to turn around, fix it and then fly back.
"Just trying to get acclimated with everything, my legs were just dead when I was cutting weight. No water in me. My legs were dead. I definitely felt it warming up and going into this fight. I knew I was trying to stay on my toes but my legs weren’t there, so that’s why I was trying to get the takedowns but it didn’t help when he kicked the s--- out of my legs."