Brazilian middleweight fighter Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao made his UFC debut recently at UFC 123: Rampage vs Machida, where he defeated Gerald Harris via unanimous decision. Despite the win, Falcao took criticism for his performance in the third round, where he all but abandoned any offensive attack.
UFC President Dana White expressed his disappointment in the bout, but praised the Brazilian’s performance in the first two rounds. Speaking with MMAJunkie.com, Falcao explained his hesitancy to engage in the last frame of the fight.
“My plan was to win more than anything,” Falcao said. “The UFC is the biggest event on the planet, and if you lose your first fight, you are very close to being fired. I was matched up with a very tough and skilled fighter in Gerald Harris, so I knew I could not make any mistakes and expect to get the win. That’s why I was more careful than usual. I wanted to win so bad in my debut, but I knew that if I went too aggressive on the start against Gerald, he would take me down and give me a hard fight.”
The Chute Boxe product also revealed that he takes no issue with White’s criticism, saying that he understands that fans pay to see fighters engage.
“Dana’s criticism was fair,” Falcao said. “People pay to watch big fights and not strategy games. I think that the fact it was my debut made me be too careful. I was only thinking about winning. I am very grateful to the UFC, Dana and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva because they gave me the opportunity I have been waiting for all my life. I will pay them back with the fights they want to watch. You all can look forward to my next fight because now that the debut is over, I will go in there to finish the fights like I have always done in my career.”
What do you think of Falcao’s potential in the UFC? Who would you like to see him matched up with next? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.