Julio Arce picked up the first head kick KO win of his career at UFC Rochester on Saturday night, and was beaming about it post-fight.
Rochester, NY — Heading into UFC Rochester on Saturday night at the Blue Cross Arena, Julio Arce was coming off the first loss of his UFC stint to date. After a split decision against Sheymon Moraes, Arce was paired up against fellow featherweight Julian Erosa, himself 0-2 in his second run in the promotion.
Arce was no doubt looking to bounce back, and make a statement, at the Fight Night event. He did just that with a head kick knockout of Erosa in the third round. Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press following the fight, he broke down his mindset heading into the fight.
“We were going to take this fight where ever it went, whether it was submission, knockout, or a decision,” Arce, who fights out of Queens, NY said. “I wanted to make a statement. Especially after my last hard-fought fight didn’t go my way. I wanted to make an impressive comeback.”
That fight came against Moraes in New York City, at historic Madison Square Garden. Yet he tried not to put too much pressure on himself after the loss.
“I didn’t put a lot of pressure [on myself], because in that last fight, at the Garden, I left it all out there,” Arce explained. “I left a clone of myself in that ring.” And so, coming into Rochester, “I didn’t go in there with the pressure of that last fight, but I also didn’t want to come in and just kind of get by this fight. I really wanted to cement myself and make a statement.”
Statement made. “My first head kick knockout in my career,” he marveled.
It’s not an easy thing to prepare for. “Sometimes we’re in practice, and it just happens,” he admitted. During the fight Saturday, “I noticed he took two of my head kicks before, he was coming in tough as nails, and I was like alright, this time, let’s hit it and land it. Short left, head kick, hit him, and that was it.”
He made sure not to rush things, perhaps explaining the third round finish. “In my last fight, I got a little impatient, and I ran into two right hands that put me on my ass.”
Moving forward, he’s not looking to call anyone out. “I’m not that kind of guy. It’s like, whoever wants to fight, they can come and fight. I don’t really call people out.” So instead “it’s whoever’s now going to be available. I’m working my way up the ranks. I’m not in a position to call anybody out.”
Arce plans on healing up and getting back in the gym, so there’s no time frame on when he wants to get back in the octagon. “I’ve been busy non-stop,” he said. Now, he has plans for some R&R. “Me and my girlfriend want to go away for a little bit, we haven’t taken a vacation in a while because we’ve been focused on just fighting.”
He’ll be back soon enough, however. “Just want to take a little time off, but nothing crazy.”
Watch the full UFC Rochester post-fight press scrum with Julio Arce above!