Julia Avila was in a unique position to offer advice when earthquakes hit in advance of her fight at UFC 239. But a smart, sensible professional outside the cage, she’s a savage in it.
Las Vegas, NV — UFC 239’s Julia Avila certainly made an impression in her UFC debut. Entering the octagon for the first time against TUF 28 veteran Pannie Kianzad, Avila looked calm, focused, and dominated her opponent on the way to a unanimous decision win. ‘The Raging Panda’ improved to 6-1 with the victory, making the bantamweight one to watch in the future.
She also made an impression back stage following her UFC 239, where she told reporters including Cageside Press that she wanted to “play with my prey a little bit” in the octagon against Kianzad.
“I wanted to show that I was a well rounded fighter. So there were a couple of times that I did drop her, and I know I could have finished it, but I wanted to showcase my ground skill,” she expanded. “Obviously it’s not that great, because I didn’t get the finish, but hey, all good.”
Avila, who happens to be a geologist outside her fighting career, was in town just in time to feel the effects of earthquakes that hit California earlier in the week. The bantamweight was even instructing people on Earthquake safety after one quake hit. Posting “Earthquake Etiquette” on her Instagram. In her day job, she works for an oil company. “That’s my day job, that’s what I continue to be. On Monday, my co-workers are going to need maps.”
Asked if she’d be back in the office come Monday, Avila answered “Yes Sir, I don’t take any time off. I’ll be running tomorrow morning before my flight, then go home, and live life like it’s normal. Because it is.”
It’s a job she plans to stick with as long as she can. “I’m a student before an athlete. I intend to continue my career as long as I can responsibly handle it.”
Avila’s “Yes Sir, No Sir” answers are reminiscent of another clean cut fighter, Sage Northcutt. But civility, obviously, stops when the cage door closes. She showed that against Kianzad. Moving forward, she’s hoping to stay active. Asked what she’ll be doing over the next several months, Avila answered “prepping hopefully for another fight. I didn’t come out injured this time. Last year was a bad year for my hands. So I’m ready.”
That hand issue she mentioned, of course, was a nasty broken finger back in Invicta. But Avila was never bothered by it. “We’re all savages. I come from a savage training camp. I had my bone pop out, I was like ‘give me the tape, I want to keep fighting!'”
That attitude should take her far in the UFC.
Watch the full post-fight press scrum with Julia Avila from UFC 239 above!