BOISE, Idaho – There were several memorable highlights during the UFC’s debut event in Idaho on Saturday, but the prettiest may have come from Raoni Barcelos.
Barcelos (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) spent much of his time on the feet against Kurt Holobaugh (17-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) headhunting with an uppercut, and finally in the third round he landed one that put Holobaugh out.
It turns out, though, that the uppercut was a big part of his game plan since he said he and his team picked up on a certain way Holobaugh stood.
“I worked a lot in camp on the uppercut,” Barcelos told MMAjunkie through a translator after UFC Fight Night 133. “I felt it in my hands – I hit him three times real hard, and then the uppercut. I thought, ‘This guy isn’t going to stand up (from that).’”
UFC Fight Night 133 took place Saturday at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Barcelos’ knockout came after a highly competitive first two rounds. It turns out Barcelos, from Brazil, was up 20-18 on two of the judges’ cards going to the third, and it was 19-19 on another. But the barnburner of a first frame is no doubt what helped the featherweights to a $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus.
“I haven’t woken up yet – I’m still dreaming,” Barcelos said. “But I’m so happy. He’s a tough guy and a champion in a lot of other events. It was a really tough fight, but I can’t imagine a better end.”
True, it would be hard to top an uppercut knockout in a UFC debut, and one that led to a $50,000 bonus. Barcelos said he experienced the infamous “octagon jitters” for his first fight in the promotion.
“I felt a lot of nerves,” he said. “I was really nervous. All of Brazil was watching and wanted me in the UFC for a long time. Everything was on my back. When I stepped in the cage, I felt good and I’m happy to end the fight the way I did.
“The fight was pretty tough, but I knew it would be. I knew it would be a hard fight. But that was the kind of fight I wanted for my debut. I wanted to show everyone I’m here to stay.”
And now that he’s here to stay, he’d like to get a chance to fight in his home country of Brazil when the UFC returns to Sao Paulo later this year.
“I want to fight in Sao Paulo because I haven’t fought in Brazil for a long time,” Barcelos said. “But whatever the UFC decides, I’ll be ready to go.”
For more from Barcelos, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Raoni Barcelos still dreaming after bonus-winning KO at UFC Boise