Rafael Natal on Whittaker loss: ‘I should have used my jiu-jitsu more’

Rafael Natal is not pleased with his performance following his unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 197. In a fight that took…

By: Lucas Rezende | 7 years ago
Rafael Natal on Whittaker loss: ‘I should have used my jiu-jitsu more’
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Rafael Natal is not pleased with his performance following his unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 197. In a fight that took place entirely in the stand up, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt told Combate he regrets not taking it to the ground.

“It was such a tough fight. He’s a very tough guy, but I was already expecting that. All rounds were close, but he was able to win the first and the third in the last 30 seconds, with a hook in the first and a kick in the third. If I had gotten a takedown, I would’ve have won those rounds.¬† He was better that night, but I guess I should have used my jiu-jitsu more. Some people told me I should have tried more takedowns, but his defense is different because he’s not like a wrestler, he does it with his footwork.”

Now looking to rebound in the near future, Natal would welcome a fight in his home country of Brazil or in the New York card, which is where he currently lives and trains.

“It’s a big dream for any fighter to be on the New York card, and so is to be on a Brazilian one. The problem about fighting in Brazil is that you have to pay too many taxes, but of course it would be my pleasure to fight there if I got the call from the UFC.”

The loss to Robert Whittaker snapped a four-fight winning streak that dated back to September 2014, with wins over the likes of Chris Camozzi, Tom Watson, Uriah Hall and Kevin Casey.

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Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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