Julian Lane is a mixed martial artist who is best known for competing on the sixteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He is currently signed to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and is expected to return in late July.
Julian Lane: How is quarantine house the whole pandemic treated you in the family? Um, it’s treating me pretty! Well, man. You know I’ve made the best of the time us and in the time with my kids and pretty much its, it’s really grown me back to my roots. Man and you know, learning how to just get everything done. It needs to be done all the small things that need to be done, that we were overlooking every day because we’re so busy doing other things man, so it helped me be able to focus on like the smaller things, and it’s actually made life much happier and More enjoyment, so it’s actually a in a good benefit to us yeah. I find a lot of guys who especially train I find that the the guys I’ve been speaking to they said like I needed this, and I didn’t even know I just like I’m mental refresher that they overlook, sometimes just by all the physical non-stop physical training, and They said, like the mental break, was nice sure man, I’ve had shoulder pain for ten years, man just this little time off man it’s like now. I don’t have any pain in my shoulders and I’m back training hard. I’M stronger than I’ve been in a while, and you know, like I said, trainees getting even better. It’S back, I’m backing on the go and and yeah just gon na be getting it in the best shape. Now man, what has the training been like as a whole throat? The entire thing? Obviously I think I’m I’m in Canada, so the gyms here all shut down. They just opened them up now, but not contact. What’S what’s it like there uh? Well, the gyms were shut down. They they just recently opened back up, but you know, like I said it broke me back to my roots, so I figured out how to you know, use the basics. Again. You got ta get back to the basics running outside push-ups sit-ups. I didn’t really have any equipment besides a heavy bag, and I got like an Olympic bench but other than that kind of stuff man. It’S like. I went online and try to order some things, but you know everything is sold out. So you pretty much had a just, like I said, get back to the basics, man and use what you got. Man and and those like, I said, that’s part of the small things – the training. Everybody forgets the basics, because we’ve all so fast and training evolves and we start doing things, and we start forgetting about the things that we need to be doing more often – and that’s like I said, punching the bag, push-ups sit-ups, just free weights, things like that shadow Boxing is the most important because I feel, like shadow boxing, is way more important than any type of mitts or heavy bag, because you’re punching and you’re moving. You know I mean you’re, not just standing in one spot, hitting a bag. That’S swinging back and forth. You’Re not having somebody call the punches on a myth. You know I mean you’re, you got ta know how to it’s a it’s like an actual fight without somebody being there. You know I mean so. I would say shadow boxing was one of the most important things. I needed to get back into so, like I said it’s it’s coming along well and I think it’s gon na benefit me in you know my upcoming events, man. So I’d like to talk a little bit about your MMA journey because I mean realistically a lot of us. I was a huge Ultimate Fighter fan. A lot of us had found out about you, and I guess knew about you for a long time now, but it actually surprised me you’re only 32 right, yeah yeah, I feel like it was so long ago. I know how did you get started into MMA uh? Well, I mean every May, I started, I think it was back in 2008 I took my first amateur fight and I grew up wrestling. My whole life and just I loved boxing and I loved wrestling, but I didn’t really know about MMA, and then you know one day I was watching. I think it was Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, or maybe Ken Shamrock and Tito. It was one of those fights man where that’s like the first MMA fight I watched and then after that I was like man. How do I get into man I’m trying to get into that and end up in Mansfield Ohio, where my dad is – and I was on a local TV station and there were local fights like a made cage fights. So I was just like. I looked up the name of their organization, which was the n-double AFS there were they used to be one of the biggest promotions here in the Midwest, and I hit them up and gave him my wrestling record, which was like crazy. It was like three hundred and some 400 matches, or something like they’re like is that your real MMA record is that is that fake? I’M like? Oh, that’s my wrestling record. I don’t have any MMA fights, but they were like. Okay, that’s good! So we’ll get you a debut and that’s I took it all against of 2008. I got my amateur debut and that’s Thai begun man, like I say I was living with my dad and I hung a girl. I hung a bag in the garage pretty much like. I said backyard thing: man and my dad taught the martial arts for many years of his life. So he kind of I got him involved in it as well. So it was perfect little father-son little team thing through the amateurs and even up to the pros man. Yeah at that point, at that point, like you mentioned, Chuck Liddell Tito Ortiz, a lot of those guys were specialists. Nowadays, people are learning straight off the bat they’re five six years old learning, martial MMA sure. What do you do now to to adapt to make sure you stay relevant and make sure you you’re up to date and you’re adapting to the to the new game? Well, adapting it comes. Naturally man when it’s. If it’s what you do, it comes. Naturally, you know. I mean like when it comes to fighting the combinations, or you know different things that come it just trigger your mind and you’ll. Think about it and you’ll just know like okay. Well, there’s a reason I thought about that. So you just got to kind of capitalize on your thoughts, man, you know I mean, and when someone crosses your mind you know you go with your gut instinct like I always do and just but also from I I go out to Vegas by Capitol gym and I got a good coach out there, Jonathan ball game, and he has taught me a lot when it comes to Dutch kickboxing when we tie even boxing he. He changed me for a few. My last fights and I’m just I’ve, seen a lot and many gyms, and you know I’ve had different, looks everywhere, because I’ve always been like a independent fighter, but I never had like a home base with with the gym, because, where I live, we had, we don’t Have many gyms, you know and it’s it’s it’s been like that for a while here, and so I usually have to drive at an hour to get some training and stuff like that. Most of the time man but like I said, but all that and I learned from that man and I pick it up and then I teach it to other people to do you know as well as, like my kids, do you know I mean yeah. I think a lot of MMA fans in general. Remember you from one of the most infamous lines in the Ultimate Fighter, history anyway, and what I like is how you’ve embraced it. It’S really just you know you like you, roll off the cuff, yeah yeah, that’s who I am have you ever be watched that show and the whole The Ultimate Fighter that fall season yeah. Actually I have it on DVD. Actually I don’t watch it much. It wasn’t really an entertaining season, I mean I’m not gon na lie. Man, like the coaches, weren’t, you know weren’t the best I mean a Shankar was a awesome guy, but I you know nothing bad about Roy Nelson man, but you know it wasn’t my cup of tea. That’S all you know, I’m gon na say about that, but he was a good guy and he got us. We’Ve got to meet many great athletes and world champions. You know so it. The experiences was was great man. The experience was great, but uh when it comes to that season. Season 16, I wouldn’t say it was too entertaining. Besides the drama, you know they mean, and a few of the fights were good like some of the guys, but other than that. The drama pretty much stuck out the most you know we were me and my buddy Colt Smith, he’s the one that won the show he we were teaming up, doing, pranks on guys and stuff like that, just just to keep the fans view and man and – and It’S a good thing. I did stuff like that, because some of the fights weren’t matched up as good as they could have been a lot of guys got matched up equally, so the fights weren’t, what the fans wanted to see man, it was more of a grind fight and pretty much Filling out and trying to win, you know I mean, instead of going all out they’re, not giving a damn what happens just go for the gusto what Dana likes, but you know that’s just how we got matched up in the fight man but yeah. I do what I haven’t watched a watch. Let me bang bro a couple times, but I mean it’s supposed to so much yeah I mean, but I don’t like it myself but, like you said, I’ve embraced it and it’s it’s never gon na go away like it. Just got posted the other day and selling eight million views now man. So it’s nothing that I can hide from so I have to embrace it and – and – and I don’t you know – it’s not a bad thing – lyses publicity – what matters is fill in those seats in the in the stadium, making sure people tune in and buy the pay-per-view. That’S what really matters man and and in every and all my fans and everyone, my family, everybody, my coaches, they know every time I go out to the ring, I’m going out to bang man, I’m going out to put it put on a show and ain’t just For myself for the win, it’s for the fans too, I’m not gon na always come out and try to make the fights exciting. You know I mean yeah so since that since that time I think a lot of I guess more hardcore fans are aware, but but you you’ve, you’ve had a bunch of MMA fights, but you’ve also switched to bare-knuckle fighting, and you fought four times for three times For B, KFC and another time for another organization, what what was ultimately the reason behind the move to fighting bare-knuckle as as a fan and as someone who doesn’t fight it just looks so like morbid. I’M, like I mean these guys are busted like I can’t imagine someone bare no money talks, man, money, talks, man, bottom line and like like I said I was at a point in my career, where I was up and down hill and I had just went to Russia, I had a fight out in Russia about two years ago and I was talking this guy from out there who was booking my fights for me out there, and he got me a fight in Russia and I went out there for four. Actually, I fought for uh Ramzan Khedira is used actually dictator of the Czech Republic. He had a achma Fight Club, so that was crazy experience man. It was fun, though it was great hospitality man they. They welcomed me open arms man. They were cool a sec man and then, after that, he you know the guy hit me up. Like a viewer heard of bare knuckle, and I was like I mean that sounds like some old school stuff right there you mean like, like you want to do it. I’M like alright, let’s do it, you know I mean, and next thing you know, I’m like alright. I’Ve been training. I’Ve been, I probably had like two weeks to get ready for it, but I just didn’t. Look the guy up until I was about to leave to go to England, and I was like do don’t – have to go fight a guy he’s 17 and oh I’m fair enough. Yeah he’s a world type world champion at 17 and out I didn’t even know until I was leaving, and I was just at that point. I was a alright well we’re just gon na go to England, have a good old time. Then cuz. I don’t even think. I’M gon na win this away, but hey I ended up winning the decision and that guy’s in the guys backyard man and took his belt. Man made him 17 and more my bare-knuckle debut man yeah, that’s yeah, you’re, you’re, now and and bare-knuckle yeah. Well, what’s next, for you, do you want to stay with bare-knuckle, or would you rather do like an MMA fight, or does it really depend on, like he said, pops yeah, like I said, money talks, man and I’m comfortable where I’m at right now, david feldman he’s A great guy, he runs bare-knuckle fight in championship, he’s a CEO and he he’s a smart man. He’S got a good plan and, and I’m would be fair enough all the way right now you know I mean I got three more flights on my contract, but you know if I, if I, if I did get back into MMA, I would I wouldn’t mind you Know going in the UFC or belt or something like that, but I I train at May every day you know I mean I train, so I stay ready for any time if I do make another cross back to MMA, which I plan in the future for sure, Because I didn’t give that my best shot at all, so I went don’t look to me fire twice, but both times I was pressed for time. You know I mean because I always waited to the last minute. I always waited for the call before I started. Training – and that is that and that’s why I always was in a hurry to get ready and I never had a much enough time and always every time I lost a fight. I knew that I could have done something different to do better or win. So I still know when I do setback it’s I’m a force to be reckoned with man, and I you know they haven’t seen the last of me when it comes to MMA. That’S for sure. So it can. You know just look for me I’ll, be I’ll, be coming back. Make gon na come back here soon, man, but right now you know I got three more fights with B KFC and that’s what I’m focusing on right. Now man, yeah chase Sherman, just fought about a month ago for the UFC he’s the only footer that competed bare-knuckle and then made it back to the UFC. So before that a lot of people felt like off, you go to bare-knuckle you’re, essentially not gon na make it back, but I think chaser Henry Rollins actually uh she with the Bellator. Yes, she uh. She was bare-knuckle champ too man, yeah she’s over in Bellator. Now yeah, so it really doesn’t mean like you’re, not gon na make it back to the UFC. As for bare-knuckle, is there anyone you want? Next, I mean as as a fan, I’m thinking like Adam lowball would be crazy at what what is it? You want uh yeah well, Artemis. You know we’re different weight classes, man, I’m sitting out like 185 right now, so I’m I’m thinking more of like an 170 pound fight when it comes to bare-knuckle yeah I’ve been in that I mean it was amazing that I could do it like. I did 33 pounds in literally five weeks, man and I felt like in great shape, but you know those days in the gym where I I could have been training harder by. They have enough energy to you know. So it was because like when I’m when I’m when I’m losing weight like that and I’m dieting, I I feel like I do much better when I can eat and and have so much energy and training, and just just when you train harder man, you’re gon na, Do better in your place, you know I mean if you can’t, if you don’t have the energy to train, you know I mean you’re, not pretty much getting the best out of your training. So that’s that’s why I like fighting more around 170 175. I even fought I’ve won the title and the England. I won that at 182 and then I actually my first bare-knuckle fight was almost to about a year and a half ago for the that one company, world bare-knuckle fighting Federation and nine. I fought at 185 in that one, and I won that fight also that was before I signed to be KFC, asked, though I don’t know, if you ever heard of it, it was when boss roon was putting on a bare-knuckle show. We fought in Wyoming man and in Martin my warriors man. I still have a check for $ 25,000 that did not cash, and that was another thing that happened man, none of the fighters got paid on my part Chris Liebman Johny Hendricks. We all got stiffed for like Mad Money, man, and that was that was a crazy thing to man. You know so and and after that, that’s when I signed with bare knuckle Fighting Championship. Man yeah, I remember Chris Liebman was pretty vocal about it. He talked about it afterwards and hey it’s, and that was definitely true. I still got a check for 25 grand man. I may get paid yeah, I’m not supposed to give it a. I was supposed to get a 20-17 Mustang everything I mean dude. It’S that [ __ ] was funny man I own, and it it’s just crazy to think that would happen, but you know you live and you learn man and now you know we had to be the guys to take the hit man for the you know. Just so that don’t happen and nobody else man, you know I mean yeah, there’s a so with the UFC being the first ones to open everything back up. Do you think you have you heard anything from bare knuckle and when you could possibly make a return yeah? I was saying that uh, I’m thinking that the end of July man and the opponents come to mind. I know I had. I was talking with the Caleb Harris about fighting and you know you Caleb Harris’s, I don’t know young was the last guy fought Jim Alers yeah limping Jim their last fight. Okay, oh, they came to lost Jim. They went to a five round decision. I lost the gym, so I think maybe me and Caleb might fight. We talked about it, but if we can agree on the weight you know he wants 165, but I want 170. So what’s 5 pounds man, you know, I mean I don’t care about weight. I mean I fight heavier guys all the time, so if he, if he won’t step up 5 pounds at 1, 7 and he’s just stat, just shows he’s just scared man so but we’re looking at Kayla Paris. Maybe, but I don’t know, there’s a few other names in the Hat, so we’ll find out probably this week. You know I mean this past weekend in the UFC. There is a lot of controversy surrounding one fight open up the I’m, not sure if you watch at the Max Roach cop fight, where he’s bagged pretty much, he begged his corner to stop the fight and the coach said no, essentially, eventually the referee stopped it. However, it wasn’t like he was getting mauled or anything like that. It was just very very unusual. He was just tired he’s like I’m done. I can’t be here what, as a fighter, what what’s your thoughts I mean. Obviously, you don’t want to see that as a fan. Well, mother, that’s some whole [, __ ] right there, you better suck it up. Man finish that [ __ ] fight or go out there and tap out or something man. So I like that. So, as a fighter, you think the best thing to do as a coach, because the coach is the one that got a lot of criticism, Robert Drysdale, because he encouraged it. And if that was you and you’re in your and you were like, you know what I’m tired, I can’t do this anymore and your coach forced you to go back in there. What would you do is that is that, like a coach, like I said, no, you wan na have to force me to go back in there, but if I was coaching the guy and he did that, I would encourage him to go back in there unless I Would be like dude, are you hurt, you know, are you injured? You feel, like you know, I’m saying, are you gon na pass it anything like that would make sure he’s physically, okay, medically okay? But if you know if he said he was like dizzy or something like that, then I would be like all right. You don’t have to go in there, but if he’s just feeling, sorry for himself or he’s just tired and don’t feel like taking the ass-whoopin this, if it’s kind I mean or if you get out a dig deeper man and get the wind like we’re gon na Put them in there, I’m, like I’m gon na force them back in there like it’s our ass in there finish that fight man, you know or or you can tell the rough that you’re done. You know II mean you like fighter, can tell the recipes done. The coach say I got to do it. Well, I you know that’s hard to do man. I mean that’s hard to say, though, because it happened to me, but you know I don’t know. I know I wouldn’t quit, though I’d all the I don’t matter man. I didn’t I got on my jaw broke in England. Man in my secondary knuckle fight got my jaw broke in the first round, man, I thought yeah, the bare-knuckle guys guys are willing to do that. I think it’s it’s crazy. You saw it with our dome when he fought Paulie Malignaggi, it’s not regular boxing. It’S not yeah. It says it scratch it man, it’s just it’s a bromance. It’S a street fight dude, you know, but it’s technique to it too man, because you just like you say you can you can utilize the clinch even like a Thai clinch, pretty much like one hand as long as you punch them. With the other hand, you can pull the head down, you can under hook with the arms, so it’s it’s got a lot of dirty boxing in with it, but I think man, it’s it’s a good sport and I think it’s going along its gon na go far Away man literally like the worst thing we asked my jaw got broken over in England, but that was some fluke stuff man. It wasn’t, you know I’m even hard, tough punch in and that’s when they were rapping over the knuckles and they don’t rap over the knuckles. Here in the US – and I don’t think they do over there anymore either because pretty much we’re like yo, that’s not real bare-knuckle. If you’re taping over the nutless, you know I mean so be KFC doesn’t tape over the knuckles. They just take your wrist. Make sure you don’t break your hands pretty much? That’S the main thing is to protect your hands, not your opponent’s face and that’s one of the worst things coming out of the bare-knuckle. Fights are your hands so, like I’ve come out where my hands are worse than my face, you know I mean yes I’d. Imagine my knuckles would break first punch yeah, so you got ta kind of you know most guys. You want to work for, like the body, shots and stuff like that makes start mixing in body punches and not really pen hunt in the fight man, because, like I mean for one, it takes the guys energy if you hit them into the body and you’re less Likely to break your hands, you know so alright I’ll, ask you I’ll, ask you one more question and then oh uh and then I’ll. Let you go so throughout the quarantine. Obviously, there’s been a lot of time on your hands. What were you doing to stay occupied? You mentioned you were training and all that stuff, but on your downtime was there any TV shows you were watching any video games you’re playing. What were you up to uh yeah? I played Call of Duty like I play zombies man, I like zombies. I play mad in, like my daughters, I got four kids man, so at four girls and they keep me busy. Man so always find something for them to do, and you know – and I actually started training them during his quarantine. I’Ve started working with them more. A lot more than I was before they’re getting better with the with their uh. I got submits so I’m getting their hands their feet together. Man and they’re actually coming along pretty good as you’re really good. So I just pretty much just used the time in the positive way man and just not fall behind. Don’T let the time make you fall behind you and use it to your advantage. Man, because a lot of people aren’t gon na be doing what you’re doing man cuz temptation. You know I mean it’s easy to just sit around. You know, especially if you ain’t got to do nothing so you got ta. You got ta force yourself to get up and stay busy man and keep going on about your everyday life, and I mean stay off that news. You know I mean watch the real news, man, you know I mean like what you’re doing right here. This is real news fans gon na respect that [ __ ] and you know yeah just stay positive man. Everybody keep positive thoughts, man, you know, I mean that’s all I could say, like you know, pray to God, thank God. For every every day you wake up. Man and and stay positive and keep the positive thoughts, positive vibes, don’t let anybody say something negative man? They don’t belong. You know I mean if you got, you need people just gon na bring you up. Man not bring you down so yeah. I mean that’s just positive thoughts: man, we all want to get through this. You know we’re the best country in the world man right now, like we love it man, this we’re gon na we’re gon na fight for ourselves, we’re gon na fight for each other man. We just got to stick together. That’S all man, all right man. I appreciate you taking the time. I can’t wait to see you fighting again, whether that be an MMA or bare-knuckle doesn’t matter to me. I just want to see you fight and stay safe. Keep washing your hands and don’t get sick, ha ha stirring it up man a thank you so much for having me man and I keep you updated on the upcoming fight. Like I said, uh probably gon na be the end of July man. All right, I’m looking forward to it all right man thanks again shout to Canada, guys man, everybody to event. Thank you guys.