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Darren Stewart emotional after UFC 228, but at least 'I didn't cry again'



DALLAS – Darren Stewart was overcome with emotion when he got his first octagon victory in May. He was still emotional after making it two-straight when he won at UFC 228, but there was a noted difference, he said.

“I didn’t cry again,” Stewart told reporters, including MMAjunkie, during his post-fight scrum. “It was still emotional because this is my first numbered card. I’m use to fighting on Fight Nights. It was a big deal for me.”

Stewart (9-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) defeated Charles Byrd (10-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) by second-round TKO in their middleweight bout at UFC 228, which took place Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas. He was forced to overcome some adversity in the fight, rallying from some damaging shots in the opening frame to put Byrd out with a nasty elbow in the second.

Not only did Stewart have an opponent in front of him with some hype coming off Dana White’s Contender Series, but he was doing it Byrd’s hometown. He said that made the victory all the more meaningful.

Stewart’s UFC run began with an ugly four-fight winless skid that included three defeats and a no-contest. Suddenly he’s on a winning streak, though, and on top of momentum, he said he has confidence on his side for the first time since joining the UFC roster nearly to years ago.

“To get a win against someone in his home town is even more of a big deal for me,” Stewart said. I’m really happy for that. Can’t wait to go again. It was emotional but I loved it at the same time.”

The Brit isn’t the most outspoken of characters, though, and while he might have the confidence, he’s still not the type to call someone out.

“Anyone they put in front of me I deal with,” Stewart said. “But it’s up to my coach and my manager to say, ‘We’ll give you this guy or this guy.’ As a fighter I’m not going to say no, but it’s all about fighter safety and giving time to improve and progress. Anyone they put in front of me I deal with. Top 15, top 20, top three, it doesn’t matter.”

For complete coverage of UFC 228, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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