Las Vegas, NV — The Ultimate Fighter 29 alum Dan Argueta finally secured his first win inside the octagon at UFC Vegas 67 on Saturday — and he admits that when it comes to fighting, on the biggest of stages, he’s still learning.
“I’m still learning how to do this, man. That was only my ninth pro MMA fight. Third fight in the Apex. I still feel so new to this,” Argueta (9-1) told media outlets including Cageside Press, following a decision victory against Nick Aguirre. “I actually sent a picture to Cub [Swanson] a couple days ago, before he got out here, and it was his record when he was my age, when he was 29 years old. He beat, I’m gonna go over the list: [Charles] Oliveira, [Dustin] Poirier, and [Dennis] Siver. And who’s the Australian? And Ross Pearson. All in one year when he was my age. And I look at that and I’m like ‘holy crap, I still have a ways to go.'”
Pearson is actually English, but we’ll forgive Argueta that slip coming straight out of a fight. And point taken: Argueta is just starting his climb. We’re yet to see him at his best, and he would later admit “I haven’t even seen me at my best yet.”
Argueta believes, essentially, that he’s been fighting down to his opponents. “You fight at the level that, well me, I don’t know why I’m like that, but I fought at the level that was presented to me. I know I’m better than that, I’ve seen myself better than that, my coaches have seen me better than that. I’m just happy I got the win. I wanted the finish. I owe my dad, so I wanted that finish. I wanted to the bonus. But that’s how it crumbles, I’m just happy I got the win.”
What comes next for Dan Argueta? Will he drop back down to bantamweight, or fight at featherweight again, as he did against Aguirre? Both are possible, but a return may not be soon.
“I don’t know if everyone knows this, but I just had shoulder surgery. I am five months out from shoulder surgery,” Argueta revealed, later stating that arthritis, combined with a slam from Damon Jackson tearing a bicep and separating his shoulder, was the cause of the impairment. “Cub was about to not let me do this, but I was begging.”
Argueta later added that “There was a lot that was limiting me out there tonight. I had one arm again. We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll talk to my team, talk to the doctors, and get everything sorted.” But despite the ongoing shoulder issues, “The Determined” is not “The Concerned” when it comes to his future. “The worse that can happen, I’ll probably have shoulder replacements when I’m Cub’s age,” he quipped.
That got a laugh from Swanson.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 67 post-fight media appearance by Dan Argueta above.