Featherweight Billy Quarantillo punched his ticket to the UFC by overcoming adversity, and winding up with a bloody finish at this week’s Contender Series show.
Las Vegas, NV — Welcome to the UFC, Billy Quarantillo. The featherweight who trains with Matt Frevola and others under Serra-Longo earned a UFC Contract on Week 5 of the Contender Series Tuesday night.
It wasn’t a win that came easy. Quarantillo found himself taken down early. Fighting through adversity. That’s something Dana White touched on in his own post-fight comments. Quarantillo explained to reporters including Cageside Press post-fight, however, that “I knew as long as I didn’t give up the big play, and I had a chance to escape, I knew I was going to be able to come back and win. So I just tried to stay relaxed, just weather the storm. Luckily it worked out, I was able to get out of that position, and get on to the next round.”
The sluggish start is nothing new for him, mind you. “I don’t know what it is, I’m usually a slow starter. I don’t know how I can fix that and start a little quicker, but its worked out for me. It makes the fight a little more exciting. Obviously we’ll come back and get the win.”
Whether that trend continues in the UFC remains to be seen. It’s not usually a recipe for success, but even veterans like Cowboy Cerrone have been prone to slow starts at times.
With Billy Quarantillo being the first fight of the night at the Contender Series this week, he had a bit of a wait to find out whether he’d earned a UFC contract. “I’ve been watching the Contender Series now for, this is my third year. You never know what [Dana White is] looking for. I imagined having a bloody finish, and that’s what happened, and that’s what I was hoping he was looking for.,” Quarantillo said. “So I felt pretty good about it, but you just never know. I would have been happy either way, but obviously I’m a lot more happy with the contract.”
Now that he’s earned his way into the big show, his debut will no doubt come relatively soon. Asked when he’d like to appear, Quarantillo answered “My boy, Matt Frevola, I would definitely love to be on the same card as him. I was looking at that UFC Boston, or New York later in the year.” The Boston card has been the reported landing point for Chris Weidman as well. “But we’ll see, I’m going to enjoy the next couple of days, and start planning from there. Whatever they give me, I”m ready to fight, and I’m ready to prove that I belong here.”