UFC welterweight Paulo Thiago’s coach, Ataide Junior, recently spoke with Tatame.com about his pupil’s UFC 121 loss to Diego Sanchez and what he thinks Thiago’s second loss in a row means for the future of his UFC career.
“What saved it was the Fight of the Night award; I think the boy still has a chance to come back,” Ataide said. “He did a very good first round but started to decline from the second round on and Diego began to take over.”
The Constrictor Team head coach expressed bewilderment at Thiago’s performance, saying that what his pupil displays in training is not translating to his in-cage appearances.
“We’re going back to Brasilia to gather the team, rewatch the fight and understand what went on,” he said. “I can’t understand – Paulo does well in the training and can’t perform well in the fight. The strategy wasn’t to be on the bottom. The strategy was to attack on the feet but we couldn’t.”
Hinting that Thiago would benefit from spending less time as a BOPE special forces officer and more time as a fighter, Ataide expressed his hopefulness that Thiago will be awarded at least one more shot in the UFC.
“If Ultimate gives him another shot, it might be on an undercard fight,” said Ataide. “Since he joined (UFC) he’s only fought really tough guys, but I think they’ll give him another chance. They usually renew before the last fight on the contract, so we’ll see what they’ll do.”
Thiago lost to Sanchez via unanimous decision Saturday night, earning a Fight of the Night bonus in the process. Before that he had posted a unanimous decision loss to Martin Kampmann, who was also defeated Saturday night. Thiago’s only other loss came to Jon Fitch in 2009, also via unanimous decision.