Fabio Maldonado Believes He Beat Kyle Kingsbury; No Plans to Drop to Middleweight

June 16, 2011
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Fabio Maldonado talks about the judging for his fight against Kyle Kingsbury at the TUF 13 finale, and also addresses questions about a drop to middleweight.

Maldonado landing a punch on Kingsbury

Fabio Maldonado’s second UFC fight looked like it might end a lot like his first UFC fight did.

The former professional boxer punished the midsection of opponent Kyle Kingsbury throughout their bout at “The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale,” battering his ribs with heavy shots.

It was truly a battle, but in the end Kingsbury was the fighter who came out on top by unanimous decision. While the judges saw the fight one way, Maldonado saw it another, but he’s not going to cry over spilled milk.

“I do think I won, but I can’t say I was ‘robbed,'” Maldonado told MMAWeekly.com. “It was very, very balanced. I believe the judges took mostly takedowns under consideration. That’s what he did, he outdid me on the takedown department. He got about, I don’t know, two takedowns more than I did. And even when I fell, I switched positions. They didn’t really take any of the ground game or the boxing under consideration.”

It’s been a long time criticism of judging in MMA about the way takedowns are scored, but there’s no way to tell now how much it weighed on the ultimate decision. Still, Maldonado is disappointed that he didn’t get the win and believes it really came down to how they scored the second round more than anything else.

“I think the second round was the determining one. I think I didn’t lose that round, I should’ve either won or it should have been declared a tie,” said Maldonado. “But it was a very balanced fight. I think the judges took under consideration mostly his knee shots, and not my body shots.

“I must have been hit by, I don’t know, maybe two of them. My shots were actually more harmful, you can see that he would clinch and use his knee and he would back off, not me. I stayed there.”

The powerful puncher certainly earned Kingsbury’s respect with the amount of damage he did to the former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor, but at this point there are no hard feelings coming from Maldonado.

The UFC did reward he and Kingsbury with the “Fight of the Night” award, and Maldonado is certainly happy with that, but a win would have tasted much better going down.

“Of course I was happy with the bonus, but given the choice between the bonus and the win, I would have chosen the win,” Maldonado stated. “Everything (the compliments and the good feedback from Dana and the fans) is sort of a consolation, though.

“Not that I would ever wish any harm on Kingsbury, I wish him the best, but even the fact that he suffered from a broken orbital bone is sort of a consolation, in a sense that it means I had my merits in that fight. I managed to take the guy down with just a couple of punches.”

Regardless of the outcome of the fight, Maldonado isn’t screaming for a rematch with Kingsbury. It was a fight, the fight is over, and Maldonado is moving on.

“He is a tough guy, who hits hard, and actually landed good shots. I would like a rematch at some point, but it’s not a priority right now. I just want to get another fight and take that step forward,” said Maldonado. “Given the choice between him and someone who’s better ranked, I would choose the other guy. I just don’t want to step down the ladder.”

The other big question asked of Maldonado after the fight was whether or not he considered the option of cutting down to 185 pounds. During the fight, most noticed that Maldonado seemed much smaller than Kingsbury.

Kingsbury however is one of the biggest light heavyweights in the sport, with a six-foot-four-inch frame and muscles on top of muscles. Maldonado has no plans of making the cut down to middleweight, and believes he’ll do just fine in the light heavyweight division.

“No, I could never drop to 84 kilograms (185 pounds),” said Maldonado. “I have no plans of doing that.”

The Brazilian will rest up after dealing with some sickness that afflicted him after the fight, but has no injuries from the bout itself. He’ll then head back into the gym and wait for UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to call and find him another fight so he can get back on track.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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