Next Gen's Arnaud Dos Santos (1-2) won his first pro fight last weekend in China with an impressive TKO win over Chen Gang (4-1) in the Chin Woo Men promotion.
We caught up with Arnaud the other day to speak about this fight, the experience and what is next for the flyweight.
What are your thoughts on the fight, your performance and the overall experience?
The fight was a very good fight for me to make my return to the sport against a good undefeated opponent. I honestly could not have asked for any better, he was fast strong and showed up ready to fight and that is what happened, a very entertaining fight for the Chinese fans!
I was slightly disappointed in my performance because I received to much damage in the first round. I was very stiff and not moving my head of the center enough In the first two minutes of the first round. After that, I composed myself and started to land some combinations and do some damage. I finished the round strong and landed an elbow that broke his nose. In the second round I felt like I had full control of the fight and forced him into wanting to try and take the fight to ground.
I stuffed his take down attempt and brought it back up on the feet, then pushed forward with combinations and then took it the ground. I tried to sink a rear naked but decided to ground and pound, secured mount, from there I picked my shots and eventually the towel was thrown In from his corner to stop the fight.
China was a very different experience. The travelling was very long however I was in good company with my coach Rodney and my fellow teammate Lisa, who was also competing, along with her husband Pete, this made for good laughs along the way! There was also a group of fighters that went from the south and together we all had fun!
The one thing that was hard to deal with was the local food! It made refueling after weigh-in a bit more difficult than usual but I dealt with it and got myself as ready as much as I could. I can't speak highly enough about Chin Woo Men as a promotion they looked after us from the moment we landed in China to the moment we left. The event itself was the best production I have ever taken part in or watched!
Did you feel any pressure heading in having started off life as a pro with two losses?
No. My pro debut was on a weeks notice against Jamie Powell and to tell you the truth what beat me there was my weight cut and refueling, it left me drained for the fight. Jamie did get the rear naked on me, not to take anything away from him, but he was fighting me maybe at 40% that night! I hope in the near future me and Jamie get to go again because I honestly think that the result would be different.
My second pro outing I don't consider as a loss, I dislocated my elbow within the first 13 to 20 seconds of the fight it should have been a no-contest in my opinion since it didn't even make it past the first minute, not due to anything my opponent did but simply a freak accident!
So to go back to your question 'did I feel any pressure?' - no. The main reason why I don't feel pressure is because MMA is my hobby not my job. I do this sport because I enjoy competing against others and this sport is the ultimate competition, one on one- no one can help you when your in the octagon. Also I believe in my ability that I can compete against any top flyweight out there! I train week in, week out with one of the top flyweights in the world, Andy Young, so in my eyes any opponents I get are not in the same league as him.
How did the fight actually come about?
The fight came about from the power of social media! Lar Byrne put a post on Facebook asking for a pro flyweight to take a fight in China on the 12 May and two of my teammates, Mark Andrew and Glen Irvine, tagged my name in it. I simply said it's not me you have to ask it's Rodney Moore and then five minutes later I received a message from Rodney saying "HA Boy, how do you fancy going to China in 3 weeks?" The rest is history now!
What is next for you?
I'm out on the 10th of June on UKFC in Preston and my opponent is Alex Valyandis (2-0).