Canadian fighter Antonio Carvalho (left) is set to meet Darren Elkins in a featherweight clash at UFC 158 in Montreal tonight. (BEN PELOSSE/QMI AGENCY)
There’s a common saying in mixed martial arts: There are wins and then there are lessons.
For Antonio (Pato) Carvalho, snagging a close split decision over Rodrigo Damm at UFC 154 last November netted the benefits of both results. On the one hand, he emerged victorious against a tough and respected opponent. But the Oshawa, Ont., featherweight was also forced to confront his own performance, one in which he feels he didn’t pull the trigger.
“Was I impressed? No, I was upset with myself,” Carvalho told QMI Agency. “But by the same token, I got a lot of compliments from other fighters who said they felt I executed a great game plan and used a lot of great technique. It compliments the fact that I played it like a martial artist and sometimes that’s not as fan-friendly, I guess. I got that side telling me they enjoyed the technical aspect and then I got fans messaging me, telling me they thought I fought like a coward.
“Should I have executed more? Yes, I should have."