“To be honest, I was like, ‘Man, this dude can take a beating,’” said Klose. “I punched him a lot and he still was there, but I’m glad Herb Dean jumped in and stopped it.”
Then, Klose could exhale.
“Coming off that loss (to Beneil Dariush in 2020) and then all the injuries that happened to me, I had a lot of pressure,” he said. “So just going in there and getting my feet wet again and getting that victory, I was able to have that feeling again.”
Today, he gets the opportunity to do it all again when he faces Rafa Garcia on the UFC 277 card in Dallas. He was originally scheduled to meet Diego Ferreira before the Brazilian withdrew due to injury, and while it’s not as high profile of a matchup now, all Klose wants to do is fight, and he knows Garcia is showing up to do just that.
“I’ve got two fights left on my contract, so I want to go out there and make a statement with this guy so I can have some renegotiation power,” said the Michigan native. “But Rafa is tough. He fought on the last card with me. He can take a beating, so I’ve just got to go out there and be smart and apply my game plan to him. He likes to get hit, and that’s what I plan on doing – hit him a lot more than he hits me.”