For a fighter under contract with the UFC, getting to compete outside of the Octagon can be like playing with a double-edged sword.
On one hand, no one likes sitting on the sidelines for an indefinite length of time, waiting for the division to sort itself out and provide you with an opening. On the other hand, being the UFC fighter headlining a regional show against a heavy underdog means getting a win isn’t good enough; you need to earn the victory in impressive fashion. After all, you’re a UFC fighter; you’re supposed to win.
That is the reality facing Danny Downes later tonight.
Having last fought in December against Tie Quan Zhang, the long-time Duke Roufus trainee will headline North American Fighting Championship: Mayhem in his adopted hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Eager to get back into the cage and without a trip into the Octagon on the horizon, Downes jumped at the chance to shake off the ring rust and take a fight.
“I hadn’t planned on fighting outside the UFC, but the opportunity presented itself a couple weeks ago. Duke (Roufus) asked me if I wanted to take a fight and I said, `Well yeah, I’m always down for a fight.’ I wish I knew how the negotiations and things like that went down, but that’s why I tell people management gets its cut; they took care of that stuff.
“I didn’t know how long I would be waiting around, so it’s nice to get a fight. It’s important to stay sharp; you can spar, you can train, you can do as many sprints as you want, but nothing can compare to actually getting into the cage and having a fight.”
Though he’s grateful for the opportunity, Downes also knows that accepting a fight outside of the UFC comes with heightened expectations, especially fighting in Milwaukee.
“There is definitely added pressure being in the main event of a hometown fight. Obviously, a lot more people are coming to see you. Going into this, I’m the favorite, so I can’t just win; I have to win and win decisively. There is always a lot of anticipation and pressure leading up to it, but once you get in the cage and they shut that door, all bets are off. Then the training and my ability will take over.”
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Downs twittered about the fight, starting with the pre fight wait:
Just got into locker room. More time to kill. Should have brought a New York Times crossword puzzle....
1st round submission win. I believe this is the part where I say, "holla at your boy!"
guy tried to throw a guillotine. It wasn't that tight. Reversed him and he gave up
Big night 4 the Downes Boys @dannyboydownes wins by triangle choke, I learned the times interest earned ratio Guess one is more impressive
Downes: I promised my mom I wouldn't get beat up too bad.
Thr nice thing about coming off training camp is that I'm a cheap date. Two beers and I'm buzzed...
Bet my submission time on the roulette wheel. I lost. Boooooii
downers89 Marty Downes
@dukeroufus If theres alcohol and fighting there's a good chance irishmen and @dannyboydownes will be ther
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Downes' opponent, Taurean Bogguess, also took to twitter post fight, furiously.
Danny Downes May 6th
short notice outta my weight class, def game
Danny Downes ufc hhaaa no fucking way if it werent for the dirty fucking ref he was fucking out,,
and then ihe intentionally searched for an eye and dug in duke rufus a fucking scam for
dirty fighters to sneak fighters in i had him rocked in the first seconds of the fight.. fuck him gimme my rematch with a reputable ref...
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Taurean's complains naturally earned a cutting retort from the winner:
“I attribute his words to simply to disappointment”, Downes said. “He had a big opportunity in this fight. Beating me would have given him a big boost and put him on the radar. He came out strong and locked in a submission that he thought he was going to finish me. He lost the hold, I reversed and ended up submitting him. He felt that he was close to victory, lost it, and is now lashing out.”
“Al Wickers is a tremendous referee. He’s reffed numerous high profiles fights and high profile promotions. It’s terrible that he would question his integrity. Like most sports, though, the easiest target to go after is the referee.”
“Last night people were telling me various other statements he was making. The one that really made me laugh was his claim that I was already “out” in his submission and the ref didn’t stop it. My only question is that if I did indeed pass out in his submission, and he still kept the submission locked in, how did I escape? Zombie powers?”
“It’s sad that he has to respond in such a way, but I understand. Whenever my girlfriend beats me at Jenga I get really upset, then I write an angry letter to Parker Brothers.”
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