Even though his 2016 started off rough by suffering his second straight loss, former UFC lightweight Christos Giagos was able to turn things around, and did so in strong fashion.
Coming off a defeat at the hands of Josh Emmett in January, Giagos rebounded with a first-round TKO of Karen Darabedyan in June at RFA 38, and did so in front of a very important spectator.
“I lost a big fight (against Emmett) that could have gotten me back to the UFC,” said Giagos to MMAWeekly.com. “It was a bit downhill from there, but I got over it.
“Some of my coaches and people wanted me to do a tune-up fight to get some confidence back, but I had a big opportunity (at RFA 38), knowing (UFC President) Dana White was there, and I thought it was the best time for me to make a statement. I took that fight and it couldn’t have gone any better.”
Giagos admits there was quite a bit of pressure heading into his bout with Darabedyan, but he was able to use that to his favor and get the win.
“It’s one thing going into a fight already with your friends and family watching, but knowing the president of the biggest organization in the world is there to watch you, that definitely puts a lot of pressure on you,” Giagos said.
“I tend to do very good under pressure. Whenever I take a fight seriously, I end up doing well – especially when I’m the underdog. That does well for me, so I like the pressure sometimes.”
“I know he’s very tough and has a lot to prove,” said Giagos of Estrazulas. “I’m just going to stay ready, train hard, and take him very seriously.
“I saw some highlights of his from his last fight, but I don’t know what kind of fighter he is now. He trains at Kings MMA, which is a very good camp; so I’m sure he’s gotten a lot better. I’m going to have to find out when I step in the cage with him.”
Should Giagos prove victorious on Aug. 19, he believes his next step is a return to MMA’s larges stage.
“I personally do feel that if I win this fight, then it’s my time to get back into the UFC,” he said. “I’m headlining a big show, so if I get this win and do it with a statement, it’ll push me to the next step for sure. If not, then I’ll see what will happen, maybe go for a title fight in the RFA.”