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Daniel Sarafian ‘embarrassed’ with submission loss at UFC 174

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Sarafian was the second-biggest betting favorite at UFC 174, but Kiichi Kunimoto made it look easy with a first-round submission victory in Vancouver, Canada.

With three losses in four appearances inside the Octagon, Sarafian desperately needs a win to keep his job, but the TUF: Brazil 1 star, who made his welterweight debut on Saturday night, won’t give up.

"I will hold my head high, face this loss and learn with it," Sarafian wrote on his Facebook page. "I won’t quit my dream and I will train harder than ever, technically and psychologically, to come back and be worth another opportunity to achieve my full potential and show you my best.

"I heard many people say my opponent was an underdog and that I was the favorite, but I wanted everyone to know, especially him, that I never underestimated him. I took him seriously as a guy that could defeat me as any other fighter. Who gets in there can always be defeated, there’s no such thing as favorite. Favoritism is created by people who never fought. In there, it’s always fifty-fifty. Champions only become champions because they know that."

Sarafian expected takedown attempts from Kunimoto but was confident to grapple with him. "If the fight goes to the ground I’m cool because I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu, and I will be ready to use it against him," he said before the fight.

After suffering the first submission loss of his MMA career, the Brazilian feels "embarrassed."

"I know that I let many fans down on Saturday," Sarafian said. "I have no words to say how sad and embarrassed I am about (the) fight, but I can say that I gave my best in training. I deprived me from many things, suffered with the weight cut, but I never gave up and got in there to do my best and give you all a good fight."

"Unfortunately, I had no time to show what I prepared. It was not my day," he continued. "My opponent took advantage of his opportunity with intelligence. I still have to learn a lot to become a champion, especially in controlling my emotions, frustrations, and making the right decisions inside the Octagon."