NATAL, Brazil -- Fabio Maldonado was in a three-fight skid when he fought Roger Hollett last May. Ten months later, the Brazilian scored his third straight victory with a dominant win over Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 38, and he credits that to his love for blood. His own blood.
"When he opened (a cut) on my head, Patricio Pitbull, who was in my corner, said ‘now you’re going to fight’," Maldonado told the media after his win. "I only work when I’m getting beat up. I like to get beat up. When I’m tired and bleeding, I fight better."
Despite the dominant performance in the second and third rounds, Maldonado couldn’t stop Villante’s takedowns in the first minutes of the fight.
"I started a little too slow, without knowing that I was fighting, but he took me down twice and I felt his strength," he said. "He never tried to submit me on the ground, so he gave me opportunities to get back up.
"I beat him with my experience. Villante is a strong kid, but I have more experience in striking than him."
"The wrestling training there is better, and I need to work more in my boxing," he said. "People say I have a good boxing, but I was better than that in the past. I have to work more in my sequences, but I know that my biggest problems are wrestling and kicks."