SAN FRANCISCO – Five months ago, Filipino-American mixed martial artist Chris Cariaso lost on the biggest stage of his career.
He headlined UFC 178 in Las Vegas as he took on Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title. Cariaso lost via submission in the second round.
But Cariaso said he took valuable lessons from that loss and it will actually help him in his upcoming bout this weekend at UFC 185 in Dallas, Texas.
“I feel more focused and determined than ever,” said Cariaso. “After that last fight, it kind of made me go back and realize, and make me wonder why I’m doing this for and I’m here because I love this sport. I’m going to go out there and make a statement and become a champion.”
Cariaso will be taking on former gold medal Olympic wrestler Henry Cejudo during this weekend’s pay-per-view match.
Cejudo is currently undefeated in seven fights but Cariaso said he is confident that he will be victorious due to his many years of fighting.
“I’m definitely going to go out there and use my experience against him,” said Cariaso. “I fought the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world in just my last fight. I’m prepared to go wherever this fight goes.”
While Cariaso prepares for his fight this Saturday in Dallas, he joins fight fans around the world in the excitement of the UFC coming to the Philippines.
“They just put that up and I was like oh, that’s where I need to go! I need to go to the Philippines and fight,” said Cariaso.
He also says that he continues to be motivated by the love he is shown from his fellow kababayans.
“I just want to thank the Filipino community for supporting me and I’m going to bring home the win for you guys March 14th,” said Cariaso.
Cariaso hopes that after his victory on Saturday, he can string together a few more wins so he could have another title shot by next year.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.