Julio Arce, Queens gym proprietor, ready for next challenge at UFC 273

Queens native Julio Arce (17-5, 10 finishes), who co-owns Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts in Bayside, Queens, is ready to step into the octagon for the primary time this yr on April 9 on the UFC 273 preliminary card as he welcomes Brazil’s Daniel Santos (10-1, seven finishes) to the UFC. Ahead of his bantamweight bout in Jacksonville, Arce sat down by way of Zoom for the Post Fight Interview with Scott Fontana.

Q: How lengthy have you ever lived in New York?
A: I used to be really born in Florida, after which I went to reside in Colombia for a few years, and I got here right here [at age 8 or 9] and I’ve been dwelling in New York ever since. 

Q: Where did you progress to within the metropolis?
A:  I used to reside on Myrtle Avenue. I stayed within the Queens space more often than not. Well, now I reside in Flushing, Main Street, Queens. In Bayside, just about.

Q: You’ve referred to your self as a “pudgy fat kid” earlier than you discovered martial arts. What’s the story behind the beginning of your weight reduction and MMA journey?
A: When I used to reside in Colombia once I was little, I really was actually skinny. I got here to New York and, you realize, you begin consuming. You’re pondering that you just’re by no means gonna acquire weight. Next factor you realize, I had rolls. I simply bought very chubby. I used to be having a tough time looking for an exercise, one thing that suited me, one thing that I might maintain myself accountable for. My older sister Cathy, introduced me to Tiger Schulmann’s. From there, I simply began, and ever since then I fell in love with it due to what it did for me. I simply stored dropping pounds, and right here I’m at this time.

Q: You personal a gym now. What was it like attempting to run a martial arts gym within the metropolis by the pandemic?
A: We simply stored going. We adjusted. We tailored to what we needed to do. So when the entire thing first began, we ended up attempting a few issues. We did exercises on Twitch. We did ‘em on Zoom, any approach that we will keep in touch and preserve it going. And then, we opened up the varsity. We had our mats type of taped off, so everybody had their very own particular person house, and we simply stored it going. We stored the present going. 

Julio Arce reacts after his TKO victory over Andre Ewell
Julio Arce reacts after his TKO victory over Andre Ewell
Zuffa LLC

Q: You’ll face Santos making his UFC debut, which was delayed, however he hasn’t fought in virtually 2 ½ years. How do you put together for a growing fighter with so little latest tape?
A: In at this time’s world, there’s video in all places. So, we examine all of the tapes. He was really purported to battle some time again within the UFC, however his battle bought canceled. 

Q: What have you learnt about him as a fighter?
A: He comes from [UFC lightweight champion] Charles Oliveira’s camp. And I do know they’re very easy. … He has a strong sport. He’s extra of a standup fighter. He throws loads of spinning strategies and he likes to sneak ‘em in. 

Q: You’d been out for about 1 ½ years too earlier than beating Andre Ewell final July and falling to Song Yadong in November. How did you cope with the layoff?
A: I bought my elbows fastened. I couldn’t prolong my arms totally, so I bought that taken care of, that surgical procedure on each elbows. Then, [I] simply healed up after which bought proper again into it.

Q: What have been the actual accidents?
A: I simply had loads of bone fragments and cartilage buildup. … So they needed to reduce open and take all that junk out. 

Q: You’re again at bantamweight now after arriving within the UFC as a featherweight. Did you anticipate 135 was in your future even earlier than the change?
A: Yes and no. I transitioned to featherweight once I was nonetheless within the regional circuit. I used to be holding my very own at featherweight. And then once I bought into UFC, I’m dealing with people who find themselves dropping from a lot heavier weight, and you may clearly see the dimensions distinction between me and them. And I’m like, I gotta get again to [1]35. I had a nutritionist, Eric Pena, who does every little thing for me; makes the load reduce straightforward. 

Q: How many fights do you have got left in your UFC contract?
A: I’m on my first battle of my new [four-fight] contract.

Q: What does it imply for you as a New Yorker to have fought twice at the Garden?
A: That’s a serious level in [my] life since you get the battle at the mecca, the place all of it went down, and I bought to be a part of that historical past.

Q: Growing up, did you go to any video games there?
A: I did go to a few Knicks sport. I did go see the Harlem Globetrotters. That was enjoyable. … I did the New York City Golden Gloves, and I bought to battle there at the Garden.

Q: What was Golden Gloves like there?
A: It was my first time doing a boxing match. I received. I received the Golden Gloves. [I’m] a 2011 Golden Gloves champion

Q: Do you recall your first expertise watching MMA?
A: Oh, my God, yeah! It was when Matt Hughes fought Carlos Newton. Carlos Newton has him a triangle, and Matt Hughes simply decide him up and frickin’ slammed him down and knocked him out with a slam. And Matt, he was was out already additionally. And like I watched them like, Holy s–t, that was f–king superior!

Q: Typical walkaround weight between fights?
A:  I keep within the 150s. I don’t wish to drop loads of weight, so 158, 159 [pounds], round there. That’s my walkaround weight, however then as soon as I’m coaching, I’m strolling round [at] like 154.

Q: Typical weight on battle night time?
A: At least 148, 150.

Q: Who in MMA do you most admire?
A: Max Holloway. That dude is a frickin’ beast: the badass.

Q: Is there an ideal MMA film?
A: “Here Comes the Boom.” That was an ideal film.

Q: Favorite film?
A: I grew to become I used to be large fan of “The Matrix” films, the “John Wick” films. It’s like Keanu Reeves films are freaking dope. And the “Fast and the Furious,” besides now it bought to the purpose the place they simply went uncontrolled.

Q: Favorite track?
A: Right now, I wouldn’t say it’s pop, but additionally EDM music. You’ve bought Showtek. 

Q: Favorite online game?
A: Right now, I’m taking part in a sport referred to as “Elden Ring,” which is tough as f–ok, which is superb although. It’s frickin’ nice. It’s so addicting. Still goddamn arduous. Sometimes, I simply wish to rage give up and throw this controller at the TV. But, I’m like, it’s only a sport.

Q: What’s an ideal day for you that doesn’t contain combating?
A: My excellent days to get up, go have some meals, and simply educate in my faculty. I like the truth that my days are busy. … Probably sleeping in slightly extra, going to get some Korean barbecue.

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