Bryan Battle says Ange Loosa milked UFC Fight Night 239 eye poke: ‘A no contest is better than a loss’

LAS VEGAS – Bryan Battle exits UFC Fight Night 239 with a mix of emotions, but none make him feel anything less than a winner despite a no contest ruling.

In Saturday’s co-main event, Battle (10-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) thumbed opponent Ange Loosa (10-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in the eye at the UFC Apex. After a timeout, Loosa said he could not see and the fight was waved off.

Bruce Buffer read the no contest ruling, and then the two fighters were separated after Battle called out Loosa – an energy he carried into his post-fight news conference.

Battle thinks Loosa exaggerated the eye poke’s damage to avoid a loss.

“What triggered the argument is that I looked at him and called him a p*ssy,” Battle told MMA Junkie and other reporters. “I knew it wasn’t that bad. I knew it wasn’t that bad. I’ve been poked in the eye before. I’ve accidentally poked people in the eye before. I’m sitting there looking at him and he’s fine.

“It was really just one of those things where he was getting his ass whooped. He knew there was no way he was going to win that fight. He knew without a shadow of a doubt there was no way he was going to win that fight. So when he had an opportunity to act like he couldn’t see, that they would call it a no contest (he did).

“I mean, a no contest is better than a loss, which is clearly what he was headed for. He didn’t have the speed. He didn’t have the power. He didn’t have the size. He didn’t have the grappling technique. He didn’t have the striking technique. None of that. He didn’t have any of those areas to compete with me. It’s unfortunate but whatever. We move on. That’s life. That’s the fight game. I’ve got bigger and better things on the horizon anyway. We just keep on moving.”

It’s not uncommon practice the UFC runs back fights that end in controversial fouls, though the promotion has not indicated that will be the case with Battle vs. Loosa.

While Battle would happily accept a second crack at Loosa, he indicated he’s otherwise moved passed the matchup.

“I don’t see how he agrees to a rematch,” Battle said. “That’s an easy paycheck for me. I would prefer to keep on moving up in the rankings. I’d prefer to fight someone with more of a name. We’re the co-main event but we’re not the co-main event if he’s the A-side. I was the A-side of this match. I’m ready to move onto something bigger and better. If the UFC hits me up and they’re like, ‘Ange Loosa (on) such-and-such date,’ I’m like, ‘All right, fine.’ I’ll whoop his ass again.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 239.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie