GLENDALE, Ariz. – Luke Sanders fought the final bout on his UFC contract on Saturday when he defeated Patrick Williams at UFC on FOX 29.
Sanders (12-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) signed a common four-fight UFC contract when he joined the organization in early 2016. He won his debut, but then lost two-straight before getting back on track with the unanimous-decision win over Williams (8-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) at UFC on FOX 29, which took place at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
After the fight Sanders revealed he’s no longer contractually tied to the UFC. The promotion has a standard exclusive 90-day negotiation window, but nothing beyond that. Sanders said he would like to stick around the UFC, but he’s not going to settle for less than his value.
“That was my last fight on my contract,” Sanders told reporters, including MMAjunkie, after his win. “With that being said, I want to feel like I’m appreciated. Hopefully the right contract and the right opportunity presents itself now. I feel I am elite and I would like to be reciprocated financially in that way.
“The goal is to be in the top in the UFC, but I definitely want to get my worth. It’s a career. I’ve got to provide for my kid in the future and my girlfriend and my family. I want to help the people I love. I put in a lot of time and I grind a lot. I feel like I’m deserving of that kind of financial stability.”
Sanders believes his performance at UFC on FOX 29 put him on a more advantageous ground in terms of getting what he wants. He felt it was a more-win situation, because after starting his career 11-0, Sanders lost consecutive fights to Iuri Alcantara and Andre Soukhamthath.
“Cool Hand” said it’s not the mere fact that he lost those fights which digs at him, but rather how he lost them. He was unquestionable beating Alcantara at UFC 209 before getting caught in a second-round kneebar, and a solid argument can be made that he was ahead against Soukhamthath at UFC Fight Night 123 before getting caught with fight-ending strikes.
Sanders said he took the skid very hard, but did his best not to be deterred by the situation. With that mentality, he was able to turn his luck around at UFC on FOX 29.
“Coming off two-straight losses, it was like the hardest year of my life,” Sanders said. “That only came down to a matter of seconds. Those whole two fights, I was dominating those guys. I’m better than they are so it really took a hard hit for me last year to take those two losses to two guys I felt like should have beat.”
“Just slow things down and be a smarter person and try to fix mistakes and try to do things better the first time instead of having to reevaluate it. Taking a hard look at it before you go into it and dissect it that way instead of do it like the bull and fix things after. Have to have the matador mentality.”
- UFC on FOX 29's Antonio Carlos Junior still sees a lot to improve on, but 'I’m ready for everybody'
- After tough weight cut and UFC Glendale win, Gilbert Burns still wants Olivier Aubin-Mercier
- Michelle Waterson can't wait to whip out UFC DVDs for her grandchildren
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Free agent Luke Sanders hoping for financial stability after UFC on FOX 29 win