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Batgerel (12-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) saw his three-fight winning streak snapped by Gutierrez in his past outing at UFC on ESPN 33 in March, and although it was a tough pill to swallow, his opponent’s post-fight speech put things into perspective.
An emotional Gutierrez dedicated his win to his sick mother, who is battling cancer, and that made Batgerel a lot more accepting of his setback.
“Of course, right after the loss I was upset rightfully so,” Batgerel told MMA Junkie. “But after listening to Chris Gutierrez’s post-fight interview where he mentioned that his mother was ill and everything, I felt like my opponent needed the victory more than me, and it made me feel a little better.
“But from a loss standpoint, it’s always a learning experience, and I grew and learned a lot from that fight, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the win column.”
Despite the momentary halt in his momentum, Batgerel’s confidence hasn’t wavered. Midway through Round 2, Batgerel was finished by a Gutierrez spinning backfist, followed by some elbows on the ground, but he thought the fight was stopped too early.
“My last fight, I’m not really looking at it as a knockout loss per se because personally I feel like it was an early stoppage in a sense that I was still there,” Batgerel said. “I was working my way up. Granted, it was a great shot, but yeah, I’m not treating it like a concussed loss.”
Batgerel meets Kyung Ho Kang (17-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) Saturday at UFC 275, which takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN+.
“I’m aware that he’s a very experienced fighter,” Batgerel said of Kang. “He’s been in the UFC quite a long time along with ‘The Korean Zombie,’ of course. I definitely have watched one or two fights in the past, but I don’t spend too much time watching film on my opponent. I’m more focused on my own personal game and growth.”