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Junior dos Santos on loss at UFC 211: ‘It’s terrible, man, it’s terrible’

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UFC 211 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It didn’t go the way Junior dos Santos wanted it to in his UFC 211 rematch with Stipe Miocic, yet up until the moment he got caught he felt he was executing the game plan perfectly.

The 33-year-old dos Santos was knocked out midway through the first round by the champion Miocic, yet he still addressed the media at the post-fight press conference in Dallas.

“Well, I’m very disappointed,” he said when asked about the emotions he was going through. “Not because he won the fight, but because I lost. I didn’t do any mistake in the fight. Actually, everything was working very well. I know he walks forward all the time, and I like to walk backwards and enjoy the opportunities that my opponents give to me.

“I was throwing some hard kicks, and the kicks were working very well.”

The former champion dos Santos was using leg kicks to help keep the range and take away some of Miocic’s aggression on Saturday night. At one point it looked like Miocic was favoring the lead leg, and a noticeable red mark was beginning to appear.

Then a big shot put dos Santos out, and after a quick series of follow-ups the referee called the fight.

“That’s the heavyweight division, you know?” Dos Santos said. “I think I’ve made many, many guys feel like that. It’s terrible, man. It’s terrible. Because I was prepared — I am prepared. And I had a lot to give there and everything, like I said, everything was working very well. The way we expected. We knew he was a tough guy and he would walk forward all the time. And like I said, the kicks, something else I brought to the fight that worked, and then I’d have to watch the fight to see what happened.”

The last time the two met was in 2014 in Phoenix, when dos Santos took a unanimous decision against Miocic. That was the last time Miocic lost a fight.

Meanwhile, dos Santos was able to get back into title contention with a strategic — and dominant — performance against Ben Rothwell last April. It was a long road back for the Brazilian, who said things got fuzzy when he tried to remember the end sequence of what happened.

“I don’t remember what kind of punch connected with me, but I remember I was trying to get back up,” he said. “Then the ref was on top of me to stop the fight. I’m feeling actually the back of my head, if you guys can see the swelling here [shows area], but I think it was my mistake. My coach said it was my mistake. Because when he came, he threw the cross against me, and the second cross hit me [in head].”

As for what comes next, Dos Santos said he wants to get back in there as soon as possible.

“I don’t pick opponents,” he said. “You know, I’m here to fight. And now I’m looking forward for my next fight already because I want to delete this thing. Man, I have to sit down to understand what kind of lesson. God wants me to understand because, yeah...but I’m here. I’m still looking forward for my future fights because that’s what I love to do.

“Today it didn’t work well for me. But I felt good. I felt almost there, and I felt like winning. After my third kick, I felt winning until lights out.”