New York, NY — Like many fighters, UFC 295 flyweight Steve Erceg might be his own worst critic.
At the very least, it’s clear that Australia’s Erceg (11-1), despite earning a unanimous decision victory over Alessandro Costa on Saturday in New York City, was not entirely happy with his performance.
“Happy I won. Grateful for the opportunity. Not the way I thought I was going to go out there and do it, but that’s the fight game,” Erceg told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “Take my lumps, take my win. It is what it is.”
As to what went wrong, “obviously I didn’t want to get dropped. I was thinking I was going to walk among the shots and really outclass him,” he noted. “But after I dropped him in the first round, got too eager. As my dad says, got into a man battle instead of a thinking battle. That was my mistake. Move on.”
Moving forward, the lessons he’ll take away from UFC 295 include “stick to a technical game plan.” Beyond that, “definitely going to work on my footwork, even more than I have. That’s about it.”
Steve Erceg was originally paired up with Matt Schnell at Madison Square Garden, only for Schnell to pull out of the fight. As it turns out, he believes Costa was the harder match-up.
“I still thought Alessandro Costa was better than Schnell was going to be. Not that I’m saying Schnell’s bad or anything. I just thought stylistically and everything, Costa was a worse match-up for me.”
That has him thinking about fighting into the rankings. Erceg doesn’t like to use the word “deserve,” he explained, but added that “I think I should be in the top 15 fighting top 15 opponents. I’ve just got to be better.”
Watch the full UFC 295 post-fight press conference with Steve Erceg above.