While Zhang Tiequan ended up on the wrong end of Issei Tamura's fist on Saturday, this isn't a loss that he should read too much into.
This isn't to say that he should be happy with a loss, but his fight strategy was sound. Tiequan was simply the victim of misfortune. He was a half of a second too slow, if that. Tamura landed a devastating punch that would have dropped a rhino.
But had Tamura been even a little bit slower, it is entirely possible that Tiequan would have won that fight at that exact moment. After all, he was setting himself up for a devastating punch that would have at least given him a tremendous advantage and might have ended the fight right then and there.
The only slight adjustment that needs to be made from Tiequan is that he can't leave himself so open when trying to land a punch. But that is something that happened incredibly fast and is more a sign of a "wrong place, wrong time" type of thing than anything else.
When Tiequan gets ready to fight again and looks back at this loss, he isn't going to see a lot wrong. He was going against an opponent in Tamura fighting in front of a hometown crowd and dealing with the typical adrenaline that comes with that.
In the world of UFC, the fighter that comes out a little more juiced up often wins. It just doesn't take a long time to jump on top, or score a knockout punch.
When Tiequan gets ready for his next fight, whenever that is, he just has to make a few slight adjustments and the result will be entirely different.
Come out Aggressive and Look for a Knockout
Tiequan spent too much time trying to set up a good punch, but that's not a successful strategy against a quick opponent. If Tiequan wants to knock his opponent out, he has to pounce, rather than sit back and slowly wait for an opening.
The chance may present itself but as we witnessed against that Tamura, that window often closes far too quickly to do anything.
If he doesn't adopt that strategy, there is one other option.
Be More Defensive
If you're not going to pounce on your opponent, don't do anything to leave yourself open for such a shot. Keep those gloves up and make him attack you when you're prepared for it. That is where the openings will come.
Tiequan fought too much of a hybrid style on Saturday, which is not going to work.
This may seem like a big deal and a sign of something really bad, but that's not the case.
Whatever strategy is adopted, there is nothing that happened on Saturday to signal that a radical change is needed. These changes are slight, and either one would be easy to make based on this defeat.
When either strategy is adopted, the rest of his game will work well and he will be the man standing tall at the end of his next fight.