On July 11 during UFC 251, Raulian Paiva defeated Zhalgas Zhumagulov by unanimous decision in a 129-pound catchweight bout. According to Paiva, since his victory, he has been subjected to racism from fight fans in Kazakhstan, where Zhumagulov is from. In an Instagram post on July 17, Paiva wrote: “I keep getting treats from Kazakhstan! Do you think I’m pissed? I’m not! Im a true champion! And what comes from below doesn’t hit me!”
Here is the Instagram post:
In a recent interview with Bloody Elbow, Paiva, who is Brazilian, said that he started receiving the remarks after his bout with Zhumagulov, even though they were “cool.” He said: “Everything was cool between us, but after I won, some people from his country started harassing me. To be honest, that doesn’t faze me. I don’t really care. Actually, I laughed my a** off. I’m still laughing to this day. I don’t take it to heart. They made lots of other pictures. They compared me to a rat in another one, too.”
Paiva, who typically fights at flyweight but missed weight for UFC 251, continued: “I went over there to do my job. I did a good job, so to hell with what they are saying now. They only want attention. The more I fight back, the more they’ll come at me, so I just let them talk. If I’m not mistaken, some of them were part of his gym’s crew, but I think that most of them were just fans.”
Paiva told the outlet: “They’re just looking for attention since we won the fight. It did not go the way they wanted, they didn’t win. It was a hard fight. Like I said before, I’m not fazed. I don’t care. The more my star shines, the more it will bother them.”
With his victory over Zhumagulov, Paiva improved his MMA record to 20-3. Since winning his fight against Allan Nascimento on Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil 3, Paiva has gone 2-2 in the UFC and he is currently on a two-fight win streak.
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UFC 251 Featured 3 Title Fights
Three championship bouts took place on July 11. In the main event of UFC 251, Kamaru Usman defended his welterweight strap against Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision. In the co-main event, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski retained his title by defeating Max Holloway via controversial split decision.
Henry Cejudo’s vacant bantamweight title was also claimed during UFC 251. Petr Yan defeated former featherweight king Jose Aldo by fifth-round TKO to earn the championship.
Former women’s strawweight champ Rose Namajunas got back to work on July 11, defeating Jessica Andrade in a rematch via split decision. In the opening match of the main card, rising star Amanda Ribas dominated Paige VanZant in their women’s flyweight fight, winning by first-round armbar.