JARAGUA DO SUL, Brazil -- Joe Proctor knew what to expect from Cristiano Marcello at UFC Fight Night 36, but the fight didn’t go as planned.
Proctor and Marcello trained together for three months during The Ultimate Fighter 15 in 2012. Members of Urijah Faber’s team in the season, the lightweights were matched together on the UFN 36 card in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, last Saturday, and the American left the cage with the win.
"I expected to finish Cristiano, but that didn’t go as planned," Proctor told MMAFighting.com after his unanimous decision victory. "He’s very tough, and I knew he’d be tough. I threw everything I had on him and he didn’t go down, so my hats off to him."
Marcello, a jiu-jitsu black belt, defended several guillotine attempts from Proctor and was outstriked on the feet, but Proctor couldn’t get the finish.
"He has a Brazilian mindset, he’s not gonna stop or quit," he said. "I knew that. What I didn’t expect was his wrestling. His wrestling got very good, that’s something he has improved a lot since the show.
"The guillotine is my move, there’s no surprise I finish a bunch of fights with that. Cristiano is a BJJ black belt. I wasn’t expecting to get it on him, but if I did I was going to be very happy about it.
"I knew he was rocked, but I couldn’t get him off me. He’s strong and he just stayed there. I wanted to push the pace the whole time. I wanted to keep my job here, and I knew he wanted the same."
Back to the win column, Proctor is now at 2-1 after TUF 15 with wins over Marcello and Jeremy Larsen. Confident following his first fight outside the United States, the lightweight is anxious to get back inside the cage.
"It has been 14 months since I stepped in the Octagon," he said. "I felt cool. I felt great, and I can’t wait to get back in there again. I’ll take whoever the UFC puts in front of me. Bring it."