BOSTON – Mario Bautista accepting short-notice Da’Mon Blackshear paid off, but he doubts he’d do it again.
Bautista (14-6-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) was originally scheduled to face former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt this past Saturday at UFC 292 but ended up fighting Blackshear (14-6-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) instead, who made a historic seven-day turnaround.
Bautista won the fight by unanimous decision, extending his winning streak to five. He wants to fight once more before the end of the year – hopefully without a last-second change in opponent.
“We’re going to be looking in December,” Bautista told reporters, including MMA Junkie, backstage at TD Garden. “Hopefully we keep the same opponent this time. If not, I don’t know if I’ll take that risk again since we’re getting closer to the top 15 and top 10.”
As he continues his ascent up the bantamweight ladder, Bautista looks to be more cautious about his career moving forward.
“When I have the number next to me, it’s going to be strategic getting to the top,” Bautista said. “If I have a number next to me and something like this happens, I probably won’t do it.”
Bautista admits Blackshear was physically strong and would have done things differently had he known he was fighting him in advance.
“If I were to fight Blackshear (again), I would definitely take my strength and conditioning a lot differently,” Bautista said. “But I went in there with a game plan to fight Cody, and I just used it the best I could to fight Blackshear.”
Prior to facing Blackshear, Bautista said he moved on from Garbrandt, and he still feels the same way after getting his hand raised.
“I’m past Cody,” Bautista said. “Not unless he had a number next to his name, which he doesn’t. I’m moving past that.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 292.