Nicolas Dalby took all the boos and hisses Saturday in Sao Paulo and tried to transform them into something positive.
Following his performance bonus-earning win over Gabriel Bonfim at UFC Fight Night 231, Dalby (23-4-1 MMA, 7-3-1 UFC) thanked the Brazilian fans for their passion and enthusiasm despite their hostility toward him.
Dalby explained the decision to offer peace, despite the lack of support prior and during the fight.
“It’s different,” Dalby told reporters at a post-fight news conference. “I’ve talked about this before today. The crowd is so intense and amazing. I’m a bit in awe of how good they are at supporting the Brazilian fighters. I have people standing when I’m getting ready to go into the fight: ‘Yeah, I’m going to kill you,’ and all that crazy stuff. For me, maybe the Brazilian crowds will stop doing it if I fight here because I turn it into positive energy. For me, it doesn’t take away. On the other hand, it kind of makes me want to prove myself even more.”
Perhaps the decision was catalyzed by the moment, too. Dalby picked up his first finish in 12 promotional appearances with a spectacular come-from behind TKO. It was a proud moment for the Danish welterweight that could set him up for a big fight next time around.
“I feel amazing. It’s my first finish in the UFC. Maybe it could’ve come a bit sooner, but I’m so happy about the fight. It’s not ideal to take the damage I did. There’s some things we need to learn from that but that’s what I’ve been doing all my career, learning from the adversity I go through both privately and professionally and then developing from there. … What’s next? Somebody top 15 – hopefully at an event in Copenhagen with me main-eventing.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 231.