TriStar’s Nasrat Haqparast had the best performance of his UFC career to date at UFC Moncton, but it came at a price.
Moncton, NB — With his second straight win in the UFC, Germany’s Nasrat Haqparast has built up a little bit of momentum. His performance on Saturday night certainly looked like he was coming off his best fight camp yet, something he’d said coming into UFC Moncton. He had opponent Thibault Gouti hurt on numerous occasions. There was at least one point the bout could have been stopped. Haqparast literally chased Gouti around the octagon at times, yet in the end he had to settle with a unanimous decision.
Still, it was a win well-earned. However, Haqparast did not escape the fight unscathed. In fact, he told media outlets including Cageside Press backstage in Moncton, he thinks he broke his thumb in the first round.
As for the lack of the stoppage, Haqparast said that “to be honest, I don’t know. Some guys, they will stop [the bout]. It was not the championship fight, not main event.” Haqparast truly was a bit surprised. “It was not a good stoppage I think. Like [the ref] could stop it. But I’m happy. I got some more octagon experience.”
“I came here more prepared than against [Marc] Diakiese,” Hasparat later added when asked about his preparation by Cageside Press. He’d said leading into Fight Week that his training camp was his best yet. It certainly looked it.
That experience came with a cost, in terms of damage anyway.
Hasparast was looking over his face backstage following the fight. “To be honest, I don’t even feel my face, I just want to check how I look,” he told us. “But I think I broke my thumb in the first.” Though what he said next was a surprise. “Also good experience. I don’t think anything is bad that happens in the octagon. Everything is win or learn. Gives me good experience.”
Asked whether he felt it break, the lightweight answered in the affirmative. “For sure, it was like a shock. Like you know when you get electricity, I was like ‘oh, f*ck,'” Haqparast said of feeling the digit go. He’s hoping it won’t need surgery, but will get it X-Ray’d. In the meantime, he thanked Thibault Gouti for the experience.
In regards to what’s next, “I don’t want to fly too high,” Haqparast said, calling back to his post-fight interview in the octagon. “You see these young guys, they get crazy after one win, they hype too much.” Instead, he wants to build slowly, which may bode well in the long run.