Christos Giagos: Weighing Risk & Reward in Securing the ‘W’

Jan 7, 2021

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At UFC Fight Night 183, Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Christos Giagos dominated Carlton Minus early and often with his grappling, even scoring a 10-8 round on some judges’ cards. Yet many wondered—including UFC announcer and former two-division champion Daniel Cormier—why Giagos did not try harder to apply a fight-ending submission when the opportunities seemed available. For the 30-year-old, the reason was quite simple. When you’re fighting on just three days’ notice, you better be damn sure you can get the tap if you plan to exert the limited energy available on a submission hold.

“I didn’t do any MMA sparring [before the fight]. So when you get up from doing jiu-jitsu, and having to strike, I didn’t get any of that. I had zero. My last couple of fights you do see a lot of striking. This fight, my arms got heavy pretty quick, but I can rely on my jiu-jitsu, and that’s what I had to do. I was afraid to commit to a finish because I didn’t want to blow my arms out. And I just wanted to be safe and [thought] what if I don’t get it? It changes the way you think for sure,” Giagos told Sherdog. “I saw the triangle [choke] there. I knew it was there every single time. I did let it go. I’m not going to burn myself out because that’s not one of my best chokes. I’d rather take the neck on the rear naked if I can. I tried to play the position for a submission to a T in this fight. Usually, I’m all about going for finishes. It’s just, three days’ notice changes the game a little bit.”

In his conversation, “The Spartan” spoke about how his short-notice fight came about and how his lack of activity this year following recovery from a serious neck injury led him to take the risk of rapid booking. Plus, he talked controlling Minus with his grappling and how the game plan went even better than he expected.

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