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Drakkar Klose gives himself a ‘7’ out of 10 for UFC 226 win over Lando Vannata

Drakkar Klose at UFC 226 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Drakkar Klose’s latest performance saw him take every round on all three judges’ scorecards, but there was one judge who thinks he could have done a lot better.


The Michigan native, who fights out of The MMA Lab in Phoenix, recently picked up a commanding decision win over Lando Vannata at UFC 226, earning a trio of 30-27 scores to rebound from his first loss last December. Despite getting the better of Vannata in every phase of their bout, Klose isn’t completely satisfied with the victory and he was modest in his self-appraisal when asked to mark it out of 10.

“I would say a 7. There’s always more improvements in the game,” Klose told MMA Fighting. “If you’re not learning and evolving in MMA, you probably won’t be the champion, so I just take that, get back in the gym and get prepared for the next fight whenever that happens.”

Pressed to break down how he defused Vannata, an intriguing prospect whose talents have not translated to a winning record in the Octagon, Klose explained how he dealt with the unorthodox techniques that Vannata is known for employing in his fights.

On commentary for the bout, analyst Dominick Cruz pointed out that Klose was making Vannata pay for attempting tricky maneuvers, and at times it did seem like he was anticipating Vannata’s movements and consistently beating him to the punch.

Klose says it was simply a matter of his team properly preparing him.

“What’s crazy is my brother was in the room the morning before the fight and we’re just going over the game plan and everything we were talking about came true,” said Klose. “I knew when I would kick him, he would throw something spinny, him throwing crazy stuff.

“After the fight [my brother] was like, ‘It’s crazy how you guys already knew everything he was gonna do before it even happened.’”

With the win, Klose now holds victories over fellow UFC prospects Vannata, Marc Diakiese, and Devin Powell, inching him ever closer to the next tier of opponents in the promotion’s stacked lightweight division.

He’s hoping to get another booking in Las Vegas after scoring two of his UFC wins there, specifically the upcoming Oct. 6 pay-per-view card. There’s no particular opponent in mind, which is somewhat understandable given that he has a bigger challenge to consider at home.

Klose and his girlfriend are expecting their first child in less than two weeks and he’s fully in “baby mode” now that his training camp and fight are over. That’s the only thing that matters to him until the UFC comes calling again.

“Just live life,” said Klose about any big plans he might have for the near future. “I’m having fun doing this. When I stop having fun, that’s when I’ll have to call it quits. But right now, they say it’s lonely at the top, but hey, this feels good. I’m just going to ride the wave.”

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