Kris Moutinho gained the respect of the mixed martial arts world after his display of toughness at UFC 264, but that’s not what he wants to be known for.

Stepping in on short notice in his promotional debut, Moutinho (9-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) faced rising contender Sean O’Malley in July in what proved to a rough night at the office as Moutinho absorbed 230 significant strikes but never stopped coming forward.

Moutinho fought hard and, at times, put pressure on O’Malley until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight with less than 30 seconds remaining, much to the chagrin of Moutinho. The good news is that fans won’t have to wait too long to see Moutinho compete again as he’s already booked to face Aaron Phillips (12-4 MMA, 0-3 UFC) on Oct. 23, which Moutinho admits is a little quicker than he expected.

“I didn’t plan on coming back so quick,” Moutinho told MMA Junkie. “I planned on maybe the end of the year, maybe next year, but you can’t really say no in these situations. It’s a good fight. It’s a tough kid. They’ve given me two months to prepare. I didn’t have many injuries. My toe was a little banged up, and everything else was pretty good.

“I healed up pretty quick, and I’ve been training non-stop, so there’s really no reason for me to say no. If I start saying no now, who knows what they give me next time? I’m just ready to go out there, have a good camp and show everybody that I know how to move my head. I’m not just a punching bag.”

Not only did Moutinho earn a cool $75,000 performance bonus for his fight against O’Malley, but his Instagram followers skyrocketed to 170,000. While all that is nice, the tough guy moniker doesn’t sit well with Moutinho.

“I gotta win fights first,” Moutinho said. “That’s the most important part. Get these wins and show everybody I’m worth more than just what they saw the last fight. I’m glad everybody enjoyed the last fight, everybody loved it, but it still hurts me. I can’t even watch it anymore.

“I watched it a couple of times, and it was too much. I don’t want to be known as the guy who just takes ass whoopings. I’m a fighter. I’ve been fighting for a very long time. I put on shows, and y’all are gonna see it.”


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