Las Vegas, NV — Fight of the Night went to Billy Quarantillo and Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez at UFC Vegas 31.
It was Quarantillo bouncing back to get in the win column, however, thanks to a third round TKO — after surviving a knockdown that certainty main things interesting.
“Doing great. Got a couple of stitches, doctor did a hell of a job, but besides that, just a couple of bumps and bruises,” Quarantillo told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “It’s great to be back in the win column, it’s always great talking to the media, it means you got the win. So I couldn’t be more excited.”
After building up a solid lead through two rounds, Quarantillo had to overcome a bit of adversity as Benitez dropped him in the third. Exactly what “Billy Q” was hoping to avoid heading into the round. “I went into that third round thinking ‘just don’t let him drop you.’ Because I knew he still had power, and I wanted to use my footwork a little more.” In fact, Quarantillo heard his coach telling him to use just that, and “‘don’t stand in front of him’, like I did. Because he’s got a good left hand.”
“We studied that a lot,” Quarantillo added. “He caught me with it, it didn’t really hurt or anything, it was just one of those, it kind of knocked me off-balance. Then when he was in my guard, I got excited because I thought I was going to get the triangle finish. But it was just right back to the standing up, he did a good job fighting out of that. So I was never really hurt, but obviously he dropped me. I think it probably made it more of an exciting fight.”
Getting the stoppage from the back impressed many onlookers, but Quarantillo himself was a little more grounded about the end sequence. “Finishing from the back is unique. I don’t know how excited I am about it, because I wish I would have choked him out, honestly, earlier,” he stated.
Quarantillo now has a 4-1 record in the UFC, with three stoppages. Where this win leaves him in the question. “After the Tucker loss I thought I was going to be fighting for a top 15, and that’s why I called out [Charles] Rosa after,” said Quarantillo, who added that he has nothing against Rosa. “I think he’s a great fighter, he has more fights than me, and those are the type of fights I want, those veterans. Moggly had ten fights, this was my fifth fight. Charles is one of those guys, he’s had I think over ten fights, and he’s an exciting fighter. I think one more fight, and then I can start really calling out guys in the top 15. I think this is the first fight I could actually call people out, because you don’t want to be that guy who has your debut, and you start calling out top guys.”
That said, whether Rosa takes the fight or not, Quarantillo added that he’d fight whoever Dana White and the UFC think he’s ready for. After his honeymoon next week, of course.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 31 post-fight press scrum with Billy Quarantillo above.