Steven Ray has hit out at his opponent’s boring tactics after suffering his first UFC defeat in Brasilia on Saturday night.
After an 11 month injury lay-off, the Kirkcaldy fighter travelled to the Brazilian capital to face home fighter Alan Patrick, hoping to make it four wins from four in the UFC.
However, the fight did not go according to plan, as Patrick charged into takedowns and smothered the Fifer throughout a three-round grappling match to claim a points victory.
“I can take a loss - I’ve lost in my career before - but when somebody’s just trying to lie on top of you, I don’t even feel as though I’ve been in a fight,” Ray told the Press.
“I’d rather get beat having gone out there with my shield, and be sitting on the couch just now with a black and blue face, knowing that I’ve been in a fight.
“It was a really boring strategy, just to take me down and use his weight because he’s one of the bigger guys in the weight class.
“That’s part of mixed martial arts - you have to prepare for the lay and pray guys - so I’ve got to go back to training and make sure that can never happen again.”
While hurt by the defeat, Ray was also disappointed that the fight failed to provide entertainment for his army of Fife fans watching the contest back home.
“I thought he’d stand with me a little more and make it a bit exciting,” he said.
“People like him shouldn’t even be in the sport. I know he beat me, and his record is 4-1 in the UFC, but nobody likes to watch that.
“I guarantee even his fans were bored by it. I like to be an exciting fighter, and put on a show for my fans, but he basically made my fight boring.
“It’s back to the drawing board - you can’t win them all. I fight at the highest level in the world, and there’s always going to be losses.
“I was a bit depressed for a few days, and when I think about it, it really annoys me. It’s gutting losing, but it’s MMA and even the best fighters in the world get beat.
“I’m just trying to take it as win or learn - and I’m going to learn from it. I’ve watched the fight back twice, and I don’t think I made too many mistakes, but there’s a few things I could’ve done different.”
Ray now has his sights set on making the card at UFC Belfast on November 19.
“I’m just disappointed and trying not to take it too hard,” he said. “I’ll enjoy my week of rest then get back to training, look at improving, and get back to winning ways, hopefully in Belfast.
“I’m hoping they can find a space for me.”