Las Vegas, NV — Russian middleweight Denis Tiuliulin earned his first win inside the octagon at UFC 279 on Saturday, finishing opponent Jamie Pickett with a knee and ground strikes to do so.
Tiuliulin (11-6), clearly elated and frequently waving off his translator, compared the experience following the fight to his first UFC outing, a loss to Aliaskhab Khizriev.
“My emotions, I am happy. Because first fight, I lose, but this is a very fast fight, wrestling. Opponent, he [has] very good wrestling. Aliaskhab Khizriev, he’s very good fighter in the world. I’m not prepared for the fight, and [he won]. This fight, I have time,” said Tiuliulin. Not a lot of time, he added, “but I have time. I have a plan. I have my coach, and I win. No problem.”
The fight did not go as expected for Tuiliulin, however, who had planned on going the distance. “No, I prepared for three rounds, and I know my opponent has very good [movement]. He moved in the octagon. I don’t know why, he was tired, a little bit tired I think. And I finished him.”
After two low blows — at least one of which appeared somewhat borderline — Tiuliulin had a point deducted. It didn’t bother him too much, he stated. “No, I spoke with the referee, and now I understand him.” That said, he later admitted that the point deduction was motivating. “When this situation [occurred], I [had] motivation to get a finish. Because if this is a decision, this is a problem for me.”
In terms of a return, Denis Tiuliulin is hoping to stay busy. “I want to fight three, four fights in the year now. Because I feel good,” Tiuliulin stated, adding that he’d like to return in the second half of December, or perhaps January.
Watch the full UFC 279 post-fight media scrum with Denis Tiuliulin above.