UFC welterweights Anton Zafir (right) and Li Jingliang square off.
UFC welterweights Anton Zafir (right) and Li Jingliang square off. MMA Junkie

Zafir is not done with UFC yet

MMA: Airlie Beach's own UFC fighter Anton Zafir is still searching for his first win in the organisation after a KO loss on Saturday.

Coming up against China's Li Jingliang, Zafir started the match nicely with some well-timed takedowns and looked comfortable in the octagon.

But Jingliang withstood the takedowns and managed some nasty shots to finish the fight at 2.46 minutes in the first round.

"I was feeling really good. I was doing really well in the first few minutes," Zafir said.

"I was caught out of position."

Some believed the fight was stopped prematurely but Zafir did not want to get dragged into the debate.

"The ref made a decision to stop the fight. Whether it was correct, it's totally up to him. He made the decision.," he said.

"As a fighter I would have like to have seen it go longer to give me a chance to recover.

"It is what it is."

The Whitsunday Martial Arts owner is far from done with the UFC, with two fights still remaining on his contract.

"It's back to the drawing board," Zafir said.

What will he be working on?

"Having more confidence in my ability to fight in all areas," he said.

"Having confidence to back yourself."

It was Zafir's second fight with the UFC following his debut in Melbourne in November and his first in the fight capital of the world - Las Vegas.

"It was pretty incredible walking out in the MGM Grand. To think some of the best fighters of all time have walked in that ring or cage. I got to follow in their footsteps. It was pretty awe-inspiring," he said.

"It really hit backstage just thinking about the experience. It was cool."

After attending UFC 200, which he said had a "great atmosphere", and returning to Airlie Beach, Zafir said he would be taking the rest of the week off. "I'll be taking the rest of the week to help my guys for final preparations for Airlie Fight Night. I'll get back into it next week," he said.