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Brendan Loughnane on Contender Series contract snub: ‘What else do I have to do?’

Brendan Loughnane
UFC Fight Pass

Brendan Loughnane is unsure about where his future lies following Dana White’s refusal to award him with a contract on the back of a dominant win on last week’s Dana White’s Contender Series.

White’s decision to not award Loughnane a contract due to the Englishman’s takedown attempt in the dying embers of the contest sparked online debate. Many believe that Loughnane fought the highest level of opponent and showcased the most dynamic skillset of the night en route to victory over Bill Algeo.

Appearing on the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast, Loughnane admitted that he was concerned that he didn’t get a finish immediately after the contest, but was reassured by training partner and close friend Dominick Cruz that he had done enough.

“I’m a very self-critical person and I wanted to knock Bill Algeo out, especially in the third-round, that was my main concern, so I wasn’t happy with that,” Loughnane told Eurobash.

“I never really know how I’ve done in a fight, but when I came out I asked Dominick Cruz, I said, ‘What do you think?’ And Dom was like, ‘C’mon, man. [You got the contract] easily.’ But I was just mad at myself for not getting [the finish] and taking it out of everyone’s hands. Then I watched a few of my highlights in the back room and I thought, ‘F*ck, I beat him up’.”

Loughnane believes he was the highest caliber fighter that competed on the four-fight card.

“To not get it and watch those others guys—guys who are 3-0—low kicking and getting [a contract]…and then the last fight with those guys swinging…I just thought that there was no real caliber on there like mine. I thought we definitely got it and then all of a sudden we didn’t, it was like, ‘F*ckin’ hell, what else do I have to do?’”

The Mancunian underlined that, given the caliber of opponent he faced, he knew that he would have to mix his striking with his takedowns to ensure victory.

“On the pre-fight stuff I said that I was going to show in this fight that Englishmen can wrestle because they’re known not to be able to wrestle. I wanted to show that I can, especially against a guy that people were saying was a good grappler. I wanted to show the versatility in my attacks and I also wanted to show the diversity in my attacks and I thought that’s what I was doing. The game plan in the lead to this fight was to mix up my striking and my takedowns to beat this guy and I had to because he was good everywhere,” he explained.

“I just stuck to my game plan and all I could hear from my corner was, ‘Get a takedown! Secure it in the last 30 seconds!’ So I did, and obviously, eventually it cost me a contract.”

Asked for his immediate reaction to White’s takedown reasoning, Loughnane said: “When you say it back it sounds absolutely mind blowing, but what can you do?”

White underlined that he was looking for “killer instinct” on the Tuesday night broadcast. Loughnane—considered a top European unsigned talent—insists that he would be more than happy to show his finishing ability against a lesser experienced opponent.

“That was a UFC-level fight,” Loughnane said of his clash with Algeo. “If they want to give me someone that’s 3-0, I’ll show them the killer instinct that they’re talking about. They’ve given me a champion from another organization. If you want to see that level of a fight, sometimes that’s gonna be the outcome. I’m willing to accept that, but at least accept that you’ve given me a tougher opponent. This killer instinct they’re talking about, I’ll happily show them that if they want to give me an inexperienced guy. Those guys were 5-0 and 3-0, if you want to give me them then no problem. Don’t give me a champion and expect this killer instinct that you’re talking about.”

After waiting six years to get another shot in the UFC, Loughnane admitted that he is disheartened in the wake of not receiving a contract on the back of his win over Algeo.

“When you’ve been ranked as highly as I am, for as long as I have, and you’ve watch guys that are ranked sixth, seventh, tenth, fifteenth all get signed, you’re like, ‘What’s going on here?’ Then you finally get a chance and you go in and put on a performance like that and you don’t get [a contract]…you’re like, ‘What the f*ck do I do now?’” he said.

“To get me back up in the morning, to be able to perform like that in this sport; it’s going to have to be something really worthwhile for me now to get in there again. It’s going to have to be good money or it’s not even worth doing for me anymore at this stage. I’m getting older now, I’m 29, I want to start a family and I want to do other stuff. Like I say, they’re gonna have to get me out of bed for this one.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Brendan Loughnane interview begins at 10:00.

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