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After 'referee's error,' Francimar Barroso thankful he got rematch at UFC Fight Night 107

With the job uncertainty that comes with a UFC contract, Francimar Barroso is simply happy to have a spot on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 107 card.

Things started off well enough for the 37-year-old Brazilian, who picked up a few regional-show titles, signed with the UFC, and won three of his first fights, including decision victories over Ryan Jimmo and Elvis Mutapcic.

However, he then suffered a submission loss to Nikita Krylov in May, and then in November in his home country, he suffered an accidental (and initially unnoticed) head-butt, and Barroso (18-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) was declared a 94-second TKO loser to fellow light heavyweight Darren Stewart (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

“When the head-butt happened, I was groggy, but I was able to communicate what happened,” he told MMAjunkie. “The referee did nothing to halt the fight. I think that would have been right to do – at least give me time to recover. It was undeniably an illegal strike, and the referee should have given me recovery time. I think that was the referee’s error – not to stop the fight so he could analyze what happened.

“Next thing I know, I was in a seated position, and the fight was being called off.”

Thankfully, Brazil’s athletic commission ultimately overturned the loss and changed the result to a no-contest, and Barroso’s job was again safe. However, as he readies for a rematch with England’s Stewart – this time in his opponent’s home country, at The O2 in London in a UFC Fight Pass-streamed bout – Barroso knows it’s time to deliver and prove he deserves his roster spot.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “The promotion looked at my body of work and decided I deserved this rematch. I’m thankful to the UFC for giving me the chance to prove who I truly am. I had already been studying him, so not much has changed. And the fact that he’s now fighting at home puts the pressure on him. I’m just showing up to win.

“I don’t care if we fight in Brazil or not. I always show up to win. Most of my fights have been on my opponents’ home turf. It makes no difference. I’m fine with that.”

Barroso, who worked with coach Andre Pederneiras at Nova Uniao while also putting together a camp in his home state of Acre, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. However, among his 18 wins, eight have come via knockout and six via submission.

Come Saturday, he said he won’t be picky.

“I don’t care how I win; it can be by submission, knockout or decision,” he said. “But I believe that if he keeps it standing, I have a high chance of knocking him out. But a fight is a fight, and it can go anywhere. I am a jiu-jitsu black belt, and I’ve been training wrestling for a very long time. I’m ready anywhere.”

And if victorious – with a guarantee he’ll get another UFC fight? After that, his goal is simple: move up the 205-pound ladder:

“My dream is always to fight against ranked opponents,” he said. “I leave it up to the UFC. Right now, I’m just thinking about my next fight.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 107, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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