Jacksonville, FL — Dwight Grant battled his way to a close split decision with Stefan Sekulic at UFC 261 — and was jeered for his efforts.
The welterweight seems to understand why.
“I’m happy I won and I was able to fight through everything, but man I promised the fans like a blockbuster event and I didn’t give them a finish,” he exclaimed during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “It was always right there, and I didn’t get the finish. I’m very disappointed in myself right now. I can’t even pretend. I’m just very happy I was able to push through the whole thing.”
Despite the rather chilly reception, Grant was happy to see fans back in the building. The Jacksonville, Florida based event saw a full house for the first time in over a year. But with Florida opening back up in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the UFC was quick to set up shop. “Honestly if the fans weren’t there, I might have lost that fight. Because keeping it real, I got caught in a guillotine at the end, and I heard the fans screaming,” admitted Grant. “And that screaming kept me aware of what was going on.”
“I’m very happy they were here. Even if they booed me at the end, just the fact that the experience was there is what makes it fun,” he added.
Grant also admitted he was pretty close to going out in the choke. Going to the scorecards, however, Grant said “I was confident about it, because I saw myself knocking him against the cage, dropping him, and him wobbling a couple times. I was like, ‘it has to count for something.'” Sekulic’s takedown came at the end of the first round, though did acknowledge suffering “full takedowns” in the later rounds. “But I never stopped trying to knock him out through the whole fight
Before the fight, Grant had discussed studying tape of his opponent. Of course, Sekulic had not fought since 2018 due to a USADA suspension. On the tape vs. real life question, Grant stated that “He’s definitely better. All the film is like two years old. What is good that he did is being able to avoid getting knocked out. That’s a great skill to have.” His footwork was key to that, said Grant. “His footwork was better than I expected.”
Watch the full UFC 261 post-fight press conference with Dwight Grant above.