Antonio Arroyo Felt UFC Saw Something In Him Ahead of Contender Series Return

On the Contender Series for the second time Tuesday, Antonio Arroyo was confident, believing the UFC saw something in him that prompted another look.

Las Vegas, NV — One of four UFC contract winners on the latest edition of Dana White’s Contender Series (Season 3, Week 4), middleweight Antonio Arroyo was looking to prove he belonged. One of two returning fighters this week (the other, Don’Tale Mayes, also won a contract this time out), Arroyo was no doubt under the microscope, being in the main event this time around.

However, rather than seeing losing out on a contract as a negative, Arroyo was able to use it as motivation, he told reporters including Cageside Press post-fight at the UFC Apex on Tuesday.

“Actually it made me feel more confident. Because first time I made it, I made it kind of short notice, I had another fight coming, I fought— it was a mess,” he revealed. “This time, they gave me two, three months to train. They gave me main event.”

The way Arroyo sees it, the UFC was trying “to see something in me. That made me more confident, that made me train harder. I knew I had to put on a show. I had to overcome any difficulties, and that’s what I did.”

The Brazilian wound up putting Stephen Regman away via arm triangle choke in the first, improving to 9-2 in the process. The fight, however, wasn’t exactly what Arroyo anticipated.

“The first two shots to the body, I see, like he felt something. But he was a tough guy, he took it,” he recalled. “And he landed some good punches too, but I have a good chin.”

“He gave me a different fight than I was expecting,” Arroyo added.

As to what comes next, “I would love to fight in Brazil,” Arroyo said, noting there’s a card coming up there in November. “That would be awesome. But I’m fighting for the UFC, so anything is good right now. I know I have a lot to work [on], I have a lot of work to come. This is just the start.”

For more from Dana White’s Contender Series Season 3 Week 4 winner Antonio Arroyo, watch the full post-fight press scrum above!