Houston, TX — Submitting Marcelo Rojo in the third round at UFC 271, Kyler Phillips (10-2) once again looked like he’d mastered fighting in The Matrix on Saturday night.
There were a lot of flashy kicks and spinning attacks thrown before the submission finish, enough to have some calling it a master class. It even got the attention of former bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo, who made a surprise call into the post-fight press conference to give Phillips a message of support.
“You could actually be the best in the world, and I see it, man. And you are super, super good,” Cejudo told Phillips. “If you tap into all cylinders, bro, I believe you could be the future world champ.”
Cejudo does have a history with the fighter now known as “The Matrix,” mind you. “When I first moved out to Arizona when I was 18, he really helped me out with a lot of things,” said Phillips. “Took me in as a bigger brother. Thank you my man.”
When it came to his own appraisal of his performance, Phillips does believe there’s room for improvement. “I had fun, I just strung some things together. Every time I fight, you guys see stuff, whatever, Matrix. I’m just still perfecting my craft, and I feel like there’s so much more to do.”
While Phillips acknowledges that he had a good performance Saturday night, “do I think it was the best? No. But we’ll get there.” Most importantly, perhaps, Phillips got to bounce back from his lone UFC loss last July. “I’m happy I got to back in here, and then hopefully in a few months, I can fight again.”
As for the flashy attacks, which dazzle fans but tend to sap energy, “spinning just makes sh*t way better. It looks cooler. It’s like a little tornado in there,” said Phillips. “Does it take more energy out of you? Yes, but I don’t really care. I like spinning sh*t.”
Watch the full UFC 271 post-fight press conference with Kyler Phillips above.