Las Vegas, NV — Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Canada’s Marc-Andre Barriault finally has his first win in the UFC.
“I’m very happy to be here, get the job done tonight,” the middleweight told media outlets including Cageside Press following a grueling battle with Abu Azaitar at UFC 260 on Saturday night.
The fight was the sort that could make you tired just watching it. It was Barriault’s gas tank, frankly, that gave him the edge. Something he acknowledged backstage at the UFC Apex. “I’m made to do this kind of a fight. I’m a hard fighter, I like to fight, I just need to be more composed and let everything loose sooner in the fight. But overall, I’m very happy with the performance.”
Barriault admitted to taking too many leg kicks in the fight, something noted on the broadcast, and frankly by anyone watching. Still, “I think he’s going to be more messed up than me tomorrow,” Barriault quipped.
The game plan was to let Azaitar tire out, the Canadian noted. That was very much what played out in the end. Now, he has his first win — what would have been his second, were an original victory over Oskar Piechota not overturned last year due to a contaminated supplement leading to a positive drug test.
That’s in the past. Moving forward, Barriault can now look to move up the middleweight division. After eating a number of heavy shots, however, Barriault may want some time to heal up. Just not too much.
“I’m the type of guy, I like to be active. So right now, after this crazy year, I just want to look at myself, put the work in, just get back in the gym,” said Barriault. “Because back home in Canada, right now it’s crazy. I just want to take some time off, look at everything.”
“Maybe the end of this summer,” Barriault later added. As for who he’d like to throw down with, the Canadian had one name. “I have one guy in my mind that I would like to fight so bad. It’s Eryk Anders. I think him and me is going to be a good match-up for sure.” As to what gives Barriault that impression, “I like his style,” explained Barriault. “He’s aggressive. He has a football background, just like me. He’s a big middleweight, he shows up to fight, and I just like his style.”
In Saturday’s bout against Abu Azaitar, one of the bigger surprises was how long it was allowed to go on in the end. The third round was easily a 10-8; an argument for a 10-7 exists. Azaitar was bloodied and battered. Asked if he felt the fight could have been stopped sooner, Barriault replied “Maybe. I heard the ref, he said three or four times to my opponent, ‘fight back, fight back.’ I saw the blood, I saw his eyes. I think he just quit inside of him. It was just a matter of time to get the job done.”
Watch the full UFC 260 post-fight press scrum with Marc-Andre Barriault above.