Kirkcaldy fighter Stevie Ray declared, “I’ll be back”, after suffering a devastating loss on home soil at UFC Glasgow on Sunday night.
Ray suffered the first knock out of his career in the opening round of his bout after being subjected to a barrage of vicious elbows from American opponent Paul Felder.
The result stunned the near 12,000 sell-out crowd at the SSE Hydro, who had raised the roof as they cheered Ray into the ring, and then booed Felder as he celebrated victory in the octagon.
Speaking to his army of fans of Facebook, Ray said: “It’s probably not even sunk in yet, but I knew there was always the possibility of losing.
“I fight at the highest level and I don’t duck away from tough fights. I knew Paul Felder was always gonna be tough.
“I’m gutted and wanted to put on a better show for all the fans. On that note, the Scottish crowd is something else!
“You are all amazing and part of what makes me so proud to go out there in front of you all.
“Sorry I didn’t get the win.
“One thing for sure is I’m glad I’m no longer on fight camp.
“That was my fourth fight in 10 months and I owe it to Natalie, my kids and family to take a little break.
“I’ll be back!”
Ray’s record in the UFC now reads five wins and two defeats in the heavily-stacked lightweight division, while Felder’s reads 6-3.
The Fifer conceded that he had been out-fought.
“In this game you win some, you lose some,” he said.
“Humble in victory or defeat, Paul was the better man (on the night).
“Thanks for all the support, it’s still surreal to me everyday how much support you all give me.
“I think that’s the loudest I’ve heard a crowd and that was me just walking out.
“It was still cool being a part of it all, even though I’m gutted I didn’t get the W.
“I hope everyone still enjoyed the show.”