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Ihor Potieria explains post-fight dance after retiring Shogun Rua at UFC 283

For UFC light heavyweight Ihor Potieria, the best way to explain his post-fight celebration after retiring Shogun Rua was to do it again.

Potieria got some heat after sending the ex-champ packing on a TKO loss, with one UFC vet declaring “OK now I hate this guy” after the Ukrainian fighter appeared to gloat with a dance.

That’s one problem when your celebration doesn’t come with a disclaimer, so Potieria gave one as he demonstrated the moves he did in the octagon after stopping Shogun in the octagon. As it turns out, he was showing the champ nothing but respect.

“My nickname is Duelist, and that was a duel, and I took out my gun but I did not fire,” said Potieria via translator as he mimicked the motion of a gunfighter shooting his weapon into the air. “I fired into the air, because I respect my opponent, so I told him, ‘Respect.’”

The crowd in Rio de Janeiro hoped Rua would go out and probably expected Potieria to be nothing more than a blank canvas for the Brazilian legend to complete his final violent piece. With a loss in his debut, Potieria certainly gave them some ammunition. But the Ukranian said his first UFC fight didn’t tell the whole story, and he was meant to be more than just a stepping stone.

“If I’m here, they probably see something in me,” he said. “If you don’t know, I’m from Ukraine, and for us from Ukraine, it’s a one in a million chance to get into an organization like the UFC. So the fact that I’m here, I do my work. I improve, and that’s why I’m able to come out against a legend like Shogun.”

With the win over Rua, Potieria gets back in the win column after seeing an impressive 15-fight winning streak snapped by Nicolae Negumereanu in his UFC debut at UFC 277. He also puts the biggest name yet on his resume and, hopefully, gets the benefit of the doubt next time he steps in the cage.

Check out Potieria’s full interview above.

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