Ep. #123 – Julio Arce

Julio Arce is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Bantamweight division of the UFC. The Tiger Schulmann’s fighter is the former Ring of Combat Featherweight and Bantamweight Champion and returns to action on February 6.


Julio Arce: We are back with the 123rd edition of the quarantine cast. I’M really excited for this one. I have uh julio rsa, who is recently announced he is dropping down to bantamweight and has a matchup lined not too bad hanging in there. You know surviving everything you know surviving everything i hear you, man we’re right now, epidemic snow storm got a lot going on up in here, but most important fight season. So yeah. I want to talk a little bit pandemic. How have you been throughout the whole thing? Actually, like a little bit of a i’d, say like a blessing in disguise, i got a couple. Injuries taken care of um and you know, got a lot of things taken care of so now you know i’m kind of not now really just re focused on um on just training. You know i have to get double elbow surgery. That’S why i was out for a while and now back gon na drop abandonway and looking now kickoff uh 2021.. How was uh? How was your recovery for your elbow injuries? It was, you know it was they. They took out a lot that expected uh. So you know glad it’s, you know it only took a few months and then just a lot of uh. Just a lot of you know, strength to you know, strength, training, uh to fix it all up because it was uh pretty bad. I could. I couldn’t extend my arms at one point. I think it’s the uh, the best timing, i guess in terms of the pandemic, you know um, give you the opportunity to go in there and get that taken care of yeah. It was worth it though it was worth it. I want to talk a bit about uh about your coaching, because you do coaching uh there at fellowmans as well. So what’s what was that like about the whole thing? Um, you know what we we found. We followed all the protocols um, we you know we, we were open. First, we’re doing zoom classes, you know we were teaching through zoom, you know it’s you we’re trying to you’re trying to adapt to. You know the way things are and then also once we were given the green light to kind of open up again we reopened and we’re just following what has to be followed and people are training. Man – and you know we we’re doing everything we can to keep people training because i know like get inside and do nothing is also driving people a little crazy. You know everyone people want to be able to work out. People want to be able to do something, not just stay home, so you know we’re taking every precaution that has to be taken, so everyone’s safe and everyone can enjoy their training. Still. I want to talk a bit about uh about you going to tiger children’s, because if i’m not mistaken, you went there uh there’s a way to lose weight um. So when you have the opportunity to give back, do you find it extra rewarding yeah? Oh man, you know because it’s i think a lot of people are trying to find you know like like their journey in martial arts. I think people believe that, like they have like this notion that uh think of your martial arts, like you’re gon na be you’re gon na be feeding. You know it’s like you’re, taking like this journey for yourself to accomplish kind of goals, for yourself and kind of you know, find find a certain side of yourself that you’re, like oh [, __ ], never seen this side of me pull in a motivating way, whether It’S you know: learning self-defense losing weight whatever it is, but it’s you take this journey where you kind of hold you, you hold yourself accountable for your for your improvement. You can’t point the finger anybody else, but yourself, because in martial arts, the only way to improve is to just to train to practice right. It’S not going to happen just you know, that’s an half of your fingers. You have to put in the work and i think that’s what martial arts did for me, so it helped me just take this journey for myself and aim to make myself better and now here we are, if you could uh give one message to people who walk If you were walking to the gym for the first time, like you did many years ago, what would that message be? I think you just get in there. You know get in there and just just don’t procrastinate, don’t think! Oh i’m not just like i’m not ready for it. Now, like everyone can train the martial arts. Doesn’T matter what age you are. I love it. Man um, that being said, man. The whole reason i reached out to you was because of this fight um one of the most things that i think that kind of surprised me is: you are making that move down to bantamweight what went behind that decision? Um. You know, i think i i was competing at featherweight because um, you know for me like i, i didn’t want to continue doing the weight drop, but then also now these guys are a lot bigger than me. I mean you look at one of my teammates shane, who is who’s giant, he’s a big featherweight. So you know all these guys are huge and you can clearly see that i’m someone that belongs in in the lower weight class. So now that i have a really good team behind me to help me with the with the nutrition everything i need to know, i think it’s going to be the weight cuts going to be going super smooth, and you know back in the regional circuit days. It was a it was. You know, it was a little tough, but you know what like now it’s time to really dial down and make it better and then think everything’s gon na go nice and smooth. So i look forward to dropping back down to the division. I was i was originally in and make a run at it. You have a belt in that division: division, yeah, yeah, so um yeah. What was it like competing for ring of combat you’re, a double champion? There’S a double chance there. It was great man real combat. You know they have a lot of. You know that they’re kind of like why i’m in the ufc they’re an organization that uh well say a promotion that you know send a lot of fighters to the ufc and they had a lot of you know people they were on the on the people watching People are seeing okay, what are the fighters going to be produced out of uh rare combat to go into uc, so just knowing that they have that platform they sent? So many guys, i’m like this is the place where i wan na have some fights, because then i’m gon na get my shot and that’s exactly what happened. So you know shout out to lou, negley and rare combat for producing all these. You know fighter that went to ufc yeah. Your only loss there is big brian kelleher is also also in the ufc and doing a run himself yeah. Speaking of your losses, i know a lot of people don’t like reflecting on them, but three of your four losses were rager or razor clothes. Isn’T it is it more bittersweet losing that way? Yeah. You know it’s like one of the crappy parts about it’s like you. Look some fights, you just go to the decision and you just you know, like you, do everything you can. Some of them are just like. Oh man, you know, i think it depends. It depends on the fight. Like look some some fights you’re like okay yeah. I lost that one i could have given my all. Other fights are just like, and it’s like what were it’s like. Why is it that i didn’t get the nod over this person, but i said good good. It’S always the thing with the judges. So who knows? Yeah, i i’m sure, you’ve heard this a lot, but i thought you won the marais fight, um and i’m sure a lot of people thought the same about daladu um. Is it bittersweet, seeing like the success of a dollar do or an egay? You have a win over um, knowing that one judge could have boosted you in the top 15. Instead of part of that yeah. You know something, but i’m like you know what i got ta i got ta do better, that’s it! I got ta do better, make no excuses. Yeah, i mean it’s hard to have that mentality like when you’re. This close, like a loss, can set you back a year or two, it’s good to see that you have that mentality. Yeah man, look that’s the way. It is like you know that you’re not going to win every single one and just kind of then back it. So that’s what i’m going to do just come back from this loss, be better and not make a run at 35., so timor valley of how do you view him as an opponent? Hey look, you know, i everyone says great things about him, doesn’t stop and that’s a matchup. I look forward to that’s simple. You know he’s he’s ready to bring. You know he just came off a lot and we’re gon na bring and i came off the law. So i’m gon na bring it so it’s gon na be fireworks in that fight. When you uh, do you too much watching a tape? I mean he looked very good in that performance until he until he got caught. Are you someone who dissects yeah? If i watch the tapes, i always watch some tapes. You know it’s always looking you’re looking for little things to expose or things to you. You know i watch his fights. I watch my fights and i watch what i can do better where he could explode. Oh, my god, it’s like a video games like you’re trying to get all the stats right and [ __ ] um you’ve competed in an empty arena before, but this is the first time you’re going to be doing it the pandemic. How do you uh and someone who’s been in there before you experience it? Do you think it benefits your performance or hinders it? I think it i think. Well, if you look at all fights lately, they have been amazing. I think it benefits um a lot of people because a lot of fighters, it simulates being in your gym and you are in the gym. You know it’s just you and the other person, whatever your training partner, is going to be whoever your sparring partner is going to be that day and it’s just like it makes it more realistic for you, and i think also that’s why people don’t deal with the The pressure of the crowd, so it’s it’s pretty interesting because i think the fights have never they’ve been better than ever without a crowd, but look everyone’s different. Some people feed off the crap, some people don’t so i think it’s been better to everyone. A lot more. I don’t know how it does in in their pockets, but i think for the people who are fighting it’s going to benefit more, it gives them a little more exposure. People can really see their health in there. You can also hear your corner along with that yeah. That’S always interesting yeah, it could could be good could be bad too, unlike most people who kind of experiment and try different gyms you’ve stopped by them the entire time um. Well, they they brought me to this level. You know i was to be honest. I really didn’t do any other sport i was just you know. I think i was just here. You you’re casual fat, chubby kid and then i came in start training. I fell in love with it and they believed in you know like take it further, you can you can you’re really good, and that was just through consistent training and next you know i started fighting at 18 and you know did a lot of competitions and i’m, Like okay, i’m going pro next, you know i’m like all right we’re going to ufc, i’m like yo. Let’S freaking do this and i was just so motivated because they you know they guided me through. You know through my ups and downs they never they never. They. Never left you know like they were always there for me. I, whether it was fighting wise teaching, wise um. You know just social wise, you know like you know, my team was there for me and you know just like uh. They they guided me through every a lot of points in my life, i’m like, then, i’m very thankful for them. They’Ve been loyal. I’Ve been on wagon yeah, i mean you’ve seen so many people yeah. If you could give a message to up-and-coming fighters who are attempting to go to an agency or an aka, i mean congresswoman is a great film right right people who are tempted to go to those bigger gyms. I’M just saying it’s like look just just just pay attention. You know you find a coach, that’s gon na. Have you know your best interest for you and that’s gon na nurture you as a fighter like look. My coaches made me. Do amateur mma kickboxing boxing a little bit too torment to make sure that when i go in there i was, i was pretty well-rounded right. I was comfortable in every area and you know it wasn’t like. Okay, i’m gon na train for two months, like okay, you’re gon na throw you right in the ring. It’S like no, they developed me as a fighter, and you know they this, and this is where i am today and just you know, just trust. The process right find yourself, a coach trust. You know, you know, take their coaching trust the process and you know you’ll find yourself where you want to be, but just find yourself a good gym. That’S they’re not just trying to you’re, not just the body where you can get tossed around and get hurt. You know so yeah. I think that’s a great message. It’S just a great message! Um. I want to ask a little bit about this, because i am myself: what does that mean? Can you represent both the columbia flag and the americans? Oh it’s it’s unreal because you know like now, you’re seeing uh, you know, cup. You know there’s still a lot more that are going to be coming up, but you know it’s also, and it’s like it’s one of those, it’s one of the places that i i wouldn’t say it got overlooked, but it was like they weren’t sure there was the Talent that was there because you know in honesty everyone’s more soccer. You know soccer based, but it’s like it kind of felt. Like you know, we’re kind of being a little bit overlooked in a way was like. Oh we’re, not sure. If there’s somebody but now got such a great talent coming out of there – and you know, if maybe that’s not saying i was, but if me being a colombian, the ufc opened the door for a lot of other colombian fighters. Then you know i’m glad i contributed to that and now you got you know like um alejandra who, where fights in bellator you got sabina maso all right. You got ryan barbarina, i mean you got. You know got a bunch of other people in there who who are representing and now they open the door from any other, but any other colombian towns uh. You got ta, i think danny chavez yeah he and look they’re open. They. They help open the door and create a pathway for more colombian town. To jump in there is your goal. Would your goal eventually be to maybe represent um your country, your country, and potentially compete in colombia, bring an entire card there yeah man? I would love to do that. That’D be amazing. I want to ask uh a couple of questions before i. Let you go huge title fight uh next month, which is crazy. Conor mcgregor is back facing dustin poirier. What’S your prediction? What’S your prediction, you know, i think it’s going to be uh, it’s going to be a scrap um. I think conor’s going to take it um and he’s not he’s not going to underestimate dustin. I think dust is going to be more prepared now. I think he got past that point in his life when uh, you know when they’re younger it was a little more emotional and do a little more stuff for it, and i think he went in there emotionally that’s why kind of connor had gone his head and Tagged them, but i think now is going to be a whole different dustin. I mean you see how much he’s grown just through years of fighting. So but it’s going to be it’s going to be a great main event. Can’T wait. Am i kidding my teammates and what can we expect from you next time? Oh next time, i just can’t one. I can’t wait to get back in there and two. I just can’t wait to get in there and scrap go back to what i love to do, but i’ve been missing. It lit like a huge fire under my hat. Now that i got the fight everything’s set, can’t wait to get back in there. Does your diet or your christmas uh like plans change now that there’s a contract sign yeah, you know it’s just it makes it worth it though you know it’s like yeah, you’re gon na have to be, like god, damn. I can’t you’re gon na see everyone at the table eating all the delicious food and they’re gon na [ __ ], but then it’s all worth it. It’S all worth it all right! Man. Thank you very much for the time. Is there any sponsors or anybody you want to thank before i let you go? Definitely man i want to first always give shout out to my family um, my sisters, my brother-in-law, all my family in colombia um. I want to give that team. As always, all my teammates always there and like my brothers and sisters – and you know they they with that with their help through my training they’ve run, helped me get to this level, and you know you got money more on commerce coming out of our from our Team, when they turn pro also just shout out to uh, shout out to nutraboy who’s to find me with all the best supplements, especially keeping me healthy through this whole um, lfg, coffee, small, you know small business, that’s really you know up and coming as well to Make delicious coffee ready, strong meals been helping a lot, especially dealing with the weight cuts and the meals that i need in order for this fight to happen? For me to get down to 35. um, i also have um counter strike, who they and edge pro edge pro pt, who have been very helpful, especially with my recovery, through my elbow surgery, strength and conditioning and everything i need and yeah shout out to everybody. Man we’ve been part of this journey and thank you for being such great supporters all right man. Thank you. For the time all the death stay safe and i can’t wait to see you right back in here. My man. Thank you. Stay safe boom there. We have it julio are say um. There was a little bit of uh some technical difficulties there with the sound but uh that was on my end uh man, but you you got the message there. I mean. I can’t wait to see him back in there that weight cut is, is hopefully gon na going to do good things for him throughout his career. He has a great mentality, great attitude, even despite those losses, i can’t wait to see them and uh be sure to check out the website. Fighterpath.Com make sure you check out bloody canvas mma as well and mmaprospects.com three websites now all up and running and uh. All of my stuff will be on uh those websites and fighterpath.com, be sure to like comment and subscribe on this video, and i will see you guys next time.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

Leave a Reply