Kirkcaldy fighter Steven Ray claimed the biggest win of his career on Saturday with a points-decision victory over Michael Johnston at UFC Singapore.
A strong third round was enough for the 29-year-old to take the decision on two of the judges scorecards, 29-28, with the third calling it a draw.
The lightweight contest was Ray’s 11th in the UFC, the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion, where his record now stands at seven wins and four losses.
Speaking in the octagon immediately after being announced as winner, an ecstatic Ray hit back at his doubters.
“I’m buzzing,” he exclaimed.
“I know a lot of people doubted me, but I hope in that fight I was able to show what I’m really made of.
“He’s a killer. Everyone was surprised I was given him (Johnston).
“I hope this fight has just changed my life.”
The victory was also the perfect birthday present for his fiancee, Natalie, who is six months pregnant with their fourth child.
“She couldn’t come and watch, but that was for her and our little baby,” he added.
Ray is now targeting more big name opponents after taking out a fighter who had been ranked inside the lightweight division’s top 10 only three years ago.
“I want somebody in the top 15,” he said. “I want the best in the world.
“It wasn’t too long ago Michael Johnston was knocking out Dustin Poirier, or when he fought the champion Khabib and did well.
“I think he’s the only man to beat Tony Ferguson.
“He’s an absolute legend and I know he’ll be gutted because it was a close fight.”
Ray admitted that the contest could have gone either way.
“I knew the first round was close it could have been scored either way,” he said.
“The second round was probably to him, so I came out strong in the third thinking it was one-each.
“I tried to finish him and got the body triangle most of the round.
“I knew it was going to be a close fight and I’m so happy.”