Exclusive – Bryan Battle Details the Aftermath of His Controversial No-Contest Against Ange Loosa

Battle offered his take on his no-contest at UFC Vegas 88 and the brawl that nearly broke out following the decision

Bryan Battle
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

TUF 29 winner Bryan Battle has received a flood of support from fighters and fans following his controversial no-contest at UFC Vegas 88.

Stepping inside the Octagon for a co-main event clash with heavy hitter Ange Loosa, things came to an abrupt halt just one minute into the second round with Battle accidentally poking his opponent in the eye. The contest was paused to give Loosa ample time to recover, but after a few moments, Loosa informed the cageside physician that he could not see out of his eye, forcing the referee to call off the fight.

Following Bruce Buffer’s official announcement, Battle and Loosa met in the middle of the Octagon for a heated exchange that forced both of their corners to step in and separate them. 

Speaking with James Lynch in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview, Bryan Battle revealed that he has seen overwhelming support in response to the stoppage. 

“There are fighters who have reached out and were like, ‘Hey man, you looked really good in there. I hate how it all ended.’ The fans have been going crazy on social media. A lot of validation in that I was right in feeling the way that I felt and I feel like a lot of people are so hyped up off of this one because you’ve seen this happen before where a fighter was losing a fight and then because of some unfortunate circumstance, they had the chance to get out without taking the L and I just kind of expressed in that moment how everyone always feels in those situations. 

“All the frustration people feel toward fighters playing it up a little bit and not tough through situations they probably would if they were winning the fight. It’s been something else.”

Of course, not everyone was on his side. Battle acknowledged that he did get a handful of nasty messages from some vengeful fans, though they were few and far between. 

“Some people were still like, ‘Oh man, he’s gone WWE. I used to be a fan of him, but he’s so fake,’ or ‘Why is he getting mad? He’s the one who committed the foul.’ But that’s like the minority. You haven’t even heard a lot from his own [team]. I’m sure they all saw it and were like, ‘Ugh!’ He’s part of a big gym, but we haven’t heard any Kill Cliff guys say anything bad about what I said. It’s just one of those things. If you were watching it, you knew.”

Bryan Battles Offers a Timeline for His Return to the Octagon

Before the anticlimactic finish, Bryan Battle looked nothing short of impressive in his first fight of 2024. He appeared to be well on his way to another highlight-reel knockout before Loosa was deemed unfit to continue. 

“The week leading up to the fight, I almost felt like I was in a trance. Everything was moving in slow motion. I was super sharp, super fast. I hurt him with a jab like 20 seconds into the fight. It was just one of those things where I was super dialed in and physically in a place I had never been before.

“I firmly believe that if the fight had continued, I would have finished him before the end of the second round.”

Thus far, Battle has not been approached about rebooking his fight with Loosa or accepting another scrap. Preferably, he would like to return sometime during the summer, leaving him plenty of time to squeeze in a third bout before 2024 comes to an end. 

“Nothing of note,” Battle said when asked if he’s spoken to the UFC since Saturday night. “There’s been a little bit of, ‘Hey, are you healthy? Do you feel good? Are you ready to fight again?’ Talking to my agent and looking at people in the rankings, but nothing anywhere near solid.”

He continued: “If I could have another fight in the summer, that would be great. I would love to fight three times. If I could get two more fights in before the end of the year, that would be amazing. I feel good. I’ll be back in training next week. I’m ready. They just gotta call me, but that’s how it always is.”

While he’s happy to put a beating on Ange Loosa again, should that be the direction the UFC wants to go, Battle would prefer to finally fight someone within the welterweight rankings given his 5-1 record since signing with the promotion in 2021.

“If I had my choice, it’s gonna be someone in the rankings. Who it is in the rankings, that doesn’t really matter that much. I’ve been saying Neil Magny a lot lately just because he’s been in a position where he’s kind of the gatekeeper to the rankings. A guy like me, if I want to get into the rankings, I gotta fight him. That would be dope, but really any of those guys. I looked up and down the rankings and I feel like I’ve got ways to beat every single person in there.”

One name that’s been circling Battle’s name for a minute is Kevin Holland. Coming off a loss to former Bellator MMA star Michael ‘Venom’ Page at UFC 299, ‘Trailblazer’ will likely be on the hunt for a big win, and stopping Battle’s momentum could be exactly what Holland needs to start building his own once again. 

“I’ve been hearing that name circulating around mine a lot since Saturday night. That’s a great marquee matchup. Kevin and I would be a great time. It would give me a good chance to show off what I can do against somebody who’s actually tall. Everyone I’ve fought as welterweight so far has been short so to go against someone a little bit taller than me would be a nice change of pace.”

Watch the full exclusive interview below:

Published on March 18, 2024 at 4:54 pm
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