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‘I froze a little’ - Raoni Barcelos ‘won’t blame the judges’ for UFC loss to Valiev

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Bantamweight Raoni Barcelos does not think his majority decision loss to Timur Valiev was a controversial one.

Disappointing as it was, bantamweight Raoni Barcelos will not dispute his majority decision loss to Timur Valiev at UFC Vegas 30. Although the defeat snapped a five-fight win streak for the Brazilian in the Octagon, he does not blame anyone else but himself for the frustrating result.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Barcelos explained that he was too wary of his opponent’s ground game, which made him less aggressive than his usual self. Instead of worrying too much about the result or looking for someone to blame, Raoni prefers to focus on himself and come back stronger in his next outing.

“If I had done it differently, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now. If he got the nod, I won’t blame the judges, I’ll analyze what I did. There was something missing for me to win the fight. If they gave him a 10-9 or a 10-8 in a round, there’s no point in disagreeing. I need to use this loss in my favor and come back stronger.”

“It wasn’t my cardio (the reason for the loss).” Barcelos continued. “It was my strategy during the fight. I wasn’t the same as I was in the first round, but neither was him. He was smarter than me, though, he amped his striking volume and I froze a little with my kicks. I was too wary with my kicks, I was afraid of the takedowns and I didn’t do much.”

Before his defeat to Valiev, Barcelos (16-2) was on a five-fight winning streak in the UFC, with wins over Kurt Holobaugh, Chris Gutierrez, Carlos Huachin, Said Nurmagomedov and most recently, in November 2020, Khalid Taha. Three of those victories came by way either knockout or submission and the other two by unanimous decision.