Since turning pro in 2010, lightweight prospect Christos “Spartan” Giagos has won all but two of his fights. And while he’s been happy with his wins, it’s his losses that have most impacted him.
As Giagos told MMAWeekly.com, adages sometimes prove more true than false.
“Losses always hurt, but people say you learn from losses, and I truly believe that,” he said. “I stepped up my jiu-jitsu game and I’m a lot more cautious.
“I used to just go in there balls-out and not worry about submissions that much. I’ve changed my game up and become more patient and use bursts of energy when needed and not all the time.”
Since his loss to Poppies Martinez in August of last year, Giagos has won three fights in a row, earning an RFA 155-pound title shot Friday night in Sioux Falls, S.D., in the process.
“I’m blessed and happy to have this opportunity,” said Giagos. “It definitely feels good they’ve chosen me for this.
“I’m excited and nervous. I’m happy it’s a televised event so my family and friends can watch. It’s a great opportunity. With all the RFA titleholders getting looks from the UFC, it’s a big opportunity.”
At RFA 17, Giagos (9-2) will headline the event versus veteran Dakota Cochrane (17-5) for the promotion’s lightweight championship.
“He’s a very tough opponent and has a lot of experience and has faced a lot of well-known guys,” said Giagos of Cochrane. “I know it’s not going to be easy, of course, but if I were to say areas that he struggles in, it’s when people are putting the pressure on him, and that’s exactly the type of fighter I am.
“Basically, I’m going to try to put the pressure on him, try to not make any mistakes, and have a good war. He’s going to come at me, I’m going to come at him, and the better fighter will walk out on top.”
For Giagos, a win over Cochrane could be the last step towards him making his move to the UFC.
“I’m really hoping that fight will get me noticed,” said Giagos. “I just won the Tachi Palace Fights belt, so I’ll be the first ever TPF and RFA titleholder at the same time.
“I’m pretty sure I can (get the call from the UFC) with the wins I have over UFC veterans. If that doesn’t do it, I’ll keep defending my title and do whatever it takes to get to the big show.”