Following his release from the UFC in 2015, lightweight Christos Giagos has been working hard to earn his way back into the promotion.
In order to get back to the UFC, Giagos knew he had to pick up solid wins, and recently he’s been able to do that by picking up four wins in his last five fights, including his unanimous decision victory over Herdeson Batista at ACB 82 in March.
“(Batista) was a pretty big name in Brazil,” Giagos told MMAWeekly.com. “He was a good fighter and a very, very, good striker.
“I went out there and I wanted to take him off his game plan and get it to the ground. I had a very dominant performance. I did everything I wanted on the fight. I did good on the feet, and then I took him down and got him with ground ‘n’ pound.”
For Giagos, defeating tough competition has been the key towards being invited to the UFC. With a combined record of 54-10, his last five opponents have been the type of fighters that have earned him his return trip.
“It’s been motivating trying to get back in,” said Giagos. “I felt like I got cut early. Once I got over it, I set my mind to it – that I wanted to make another run – and used it as fuel to get back. I was motivated to take big fights, to be seen and prove a point and that I’m ready to be back.”
For his first bout back with the promotion, Giagos (15-6) will face Charles Oliveira (23-8) in a preliminary 155-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 137 on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“He’s one of the best in the sport, but I feel I’m on my way and right now he’s in my way,” Giagos said of Oliveira. “Right now he’s a big name that I’ve got to get past to make a name for myself.
“I’ve put in all the effort and work, and there has to be a winner and a loser, but I’m coming out looking to make a statement.”
Now that he’s earned a return shot to the UFC, Giagos is eager to make his mark as quickly as possible, but knows that it is up to the promotion with what kind of activity he’ll have going forward in his return.
“I’ll probably have to wait for (the UFC) to come to me, but I’ll be open to fighting later this year for sure,” said Giagos. “I would love to squeeze a couple more in since I started slow. Ultimately it’s up to them.”