Looking back on his unanimous decision win over Michel Pereira at UFC on ESPN+ 16 on September 14, lightweight Tristan Connelly is pleased to have gotten the victory, but doesn’t feel his performance was up to par.
Having taken the fight versus Pereira on short notice, Connelly admits he wasn’t in the kind of shape that would have allowed him to be as explosive as he could be, but still, he got the win and that’s what matters.
“I don’t think any fighter out there is ever satisfied with their performance; very rarely,” Connelly told MMAWeekly.com. “I went in there with a game plan, I followed the game plan, and it went as exactly as I thought it would. I was super-confident that was going to happen.
“Taking the fight on five days’ notice I definitely wasn’t in the shape I was capable of being. There was a lot of sloppiness that wouldn’t usually have. I usually keep a pace like that and keep things tighter, but I was more tired than I’d normally be. I’m capable of being much better. I got the job done, but if I was the real me I would have put him away for sure.”
According to Connelly, he wasn’t overwhelmed by making his UFC debut as it was something he felt he was on the cusp of doing for the last few years.
“For a couple of years now I knew I deserved to be there,” said Connelly. “I was excited and super-happy that I was there, but (I wasn’t star struck). I knew where I should be. I’m confident in where I’m at with my ability, so it felt right.”
While he was prepared to make his UFC debut, Connelly admits the kind of attention he’s gotten since the fight has been overwhelming at times.
“I haven’t been able to put my phone down,” Connelly said. “I have like 1000 un-responded messages I have to get to. It took me three days to clear my texts. I’ve barely touched Facebook. I’ve barely touched Instagram. And that’s just the people that know me that actually need a response. I’ve looked through the feeds of people who have requests and it goes on forever.
“I’m learning to keep up with all of this. I think I’m doing a pretty good job, but I’m not the most organized person. I can do it all, but I just need to lay it out and organize it so it’s efficient. I’m still teaching my classes. I’m still training. There’s still so much I’ve got to do, and run my business. It’s a lot, but I’m figuring it out. Give me a week and it will be all smooth.”
As for what’s next, Connelly wants to return to action as soon as possible against anyone who would be available for a fight.
“I’ll be looking to fight before the end of the year,” said Connelly. “I don’t want to wait until next year.
“I haven’t really thought too much about it, but the only name that came up was Austin Hubbard. He fought on the same card. He won. He looked great. He’s a nice guy, I talked to him. He’s actually in the hospital right now here; he had something with his leg; so he might not be ready this year.”