Phoenix, AZ — UFC bantamweight Journey Newson has waited a long time to bag his first win inside the octagon.
That came Saturday at UFC 274 in Phoenix’s Footprint Center, with Newson (10-3, 1NC) going the distance and claiming a unanimous decision win over newcomer Fernie Garcia. There’s an added element of revenge in the win, with Garcia being a native of Texas. It was Texas, or at least their athletic commission, that two years ago took away Newson’s win over Domingo Pilarte, after the BJJ black belt tested positive for marijuana.
Asked by Cageside Press if he was on a high now following UFC 274, Newson replied “Yeah, definitely. Especially another win over Texas. That feels great over Texas, because those are the ones that took that win away from me.”
It’s clear Newson was not a fan of the decision to overturn his first win, making Saturday’s accomplishment that much sweeter. “That solidifies that I beat two Texas guys, and that first one shouldn’t have been overturned in the first place. That was a dominant win, and it shouldn’t have been overturned over some marijuana penalty that I wasn’t even high over. It wasn’t like I was sitting here smoking backstage.”
Newson added that he had stopped smoking “a few weeks after [getting the fight], just like I did every other fight, and because they have a lower threshold [in Texas], I got popped for it. And that’s not fair to any of us fighters at all.”
With no pun intended, it’s been a long journey for Journey Newson to get to this point. He started his run in the promotion with two losses, plus the no contest. On Saturday, he spoke about watching other fighters, including friends, get their post-fight moments.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good since leaving that cage. I’ve asked a lot of fighters, I’ve seen a lot of my friends who fight up here, and I never got a chance to get up here. It feels really good right now to see all these faces here. All the eyes are on me right now; I worked really hard to get here. It’s a good feeling.”
Watch the full UFC 274 post-fight press scrum with Journey Newson above.