June 23, 2009

Heading into Saturday's Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale versus Edgar Garcia, "Bad" Brad Blackburn was anticipating a war of attrition, and that's exactly what he got.

Over the course of three rounds, Blackburn and Garcia battered each other, with Blackburn ultimately coming out on top via a close, controversial split-decision.

Upon return to his home in Washington, Blackburn spoke to MMAWeekly.com about his controversial win and what he feels was the deciding factor in the fight.

"I thought I performed well, under the circumstances that I didn't have my right hand," he admitted. "It was a big win for me, because he's a very tough opponent, a very strong striker, and I didn't have my best weapon."

According to Blackburn the injury was suffered early in the fight and caused the match-up to become much closer than he felt it could have been.

"I was busting him up right at the beginning and then he went for a takedown, I went for a choke, and he picked me up and slammed me right down on my shoulder," said Blackburn. "Every time I threw a punch after that, my shoulder would make a crunching, grinding noise.

"It hurt bad -- I kept throwing it -- but it didn't really have power. I just didn't want him to know that I didn't have it anymore."

After the decision was announced, many in the crowd booed the outcome; however, Blackburn genuinely feels he won the fight after having watched it for himself.

"I were a judge, I would have given me the first two rounds, and given him the last," he commented.

"I think I stayed busier than him, more active in the first two rounds, and hurt him at the beginning of the first, but he was the more active in the third round, and landed a good shot on me in the third round, too."

As Blackburn puts it, any reaction is a good reaction, as it shows he's doing his job inside the cage.

"As far as the boos, it didn't phase me -- as long as people make noise, I'm happy," he stated. "If they're not making noise, it's a boring fight, and I don't want that."

The immediate concern for Blackburn post-fight is to check the status of his injured shoulder. Understandably, he's hoping to avoid a major problem, which could keep him out of action for the foreseeable future.

"I hope (it's not serious), because I just went six months in between my last fight and this one," he said. "It's not looking good as far as me getting back in there again (any time soon).

"I want to fight more than twice a year, so hopefully the doctors tell me something good."

With the win over Garcia, Blackburn has now won four in a row overall, and both his UFC fights. When he does return to action, he's got sights set on stepping up against bigger name competition.

"I'm always wanting to fight those top 10 guys, because you'll never be top 10 unless you fight them," he stated. "That's the kind of fights that I want. You've got to fight people with names to have a name, that's who I'm looking for."

After a close call this past weekend, Blackburn anticipates returning in better form for his next fight, and hopes the fans will give him the opportunity to showcase what he really can do.

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