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Tonya Evinger disappointed in herself for not lasting five rounds with Cris Cyborg

Evinger prepares for her title fight with Cyborg.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Saturday, Tonya Evinger became the first fighter in over four years to make it past the second round against Cris Cyborg.

It wasn’t enough to satisfy her.

Speaking at the UFC 214 post-fight press conference in Anaheim, Calif., Evinger told reporters that she was disappointed in herself after being finished with strikes in the third round of her UFC women’s featherweight bout with Cyborg. It was the first time in Evinger’s 26-fight career that she’d ever been knocked out and the outcome left a bitter taste in her mouth.

“I felt great, really no excuses,” Evinger said. “I just feel like I fought like a pussy. But it is what it is.”

“I’m just disappointed I didn’t at least go five rounds...” Evinger added. “I don’t know why I went down, I don’t know why I didn’t get up. I don’t know.”

Evinger is known for her effective wrestling attack and she admitted that she was surprised at how much of a strength difference there was between her and Cyborg. When asked if she would return to her natural weight class of 135 pounds, Evinger said that’s the plan.

“Yeah, next fight is definitely at 35. Obviously, I’ll fight anybody, so let’s do it.”

As for whether making a long-awaited UFC debut had any effect on her performance, the 36-year-old Evinger was quick to dismiss the notion that she wasn’t prepared for MMA’s biggest stage. If anything, she insisted that her issues were mostly internal.

“I just felt like I kind of beat myself,” Evinger said. “I don’t know how to explain it, I felt like I was on the downside of that slope. Nothing was landing, I kind of felt like nothing I was doing was working. To be honest, it wasn’t (the size of the show) or anything that got me off.”

Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that Evinger is ready to move on.

“I just wanted to go five, or win the fight is what I wanted,” Evinger said. “So it’s back to work, I guess.”

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