Featherweight Billy Quarantillo earned both his first UFC win, and his black belt, Saturday night at UFC DC.
Washington, D.C. — It’s one thing to win your UFC debut. That in and of itself is a special moment for any mixed martial artist. It’s another to earn your BJJ black belt doing it. That was the case for Billy Quarantillo on Saturday at UFC DC.
Quarantillo, who improved to 13-2 with the win, put Jacob Kilburn away with a second-round Triangle submission on the preliminary card. When he arrived backstage to speak to reporters including Cageside Press, he had his newly earned belt around his neck.
“It’s been the last 10 years, I’ve been training under Matt [Arroyo]. I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu since 2010. I just earned my black belt,” he exclaimed.
“I was hoping to get it next week at our belt ceremony, but I think today was a good day to get it instead,” Quarantillo continued. “I’m happy to get it a week early, a day before my birthday so I can say I got it when I was 30 instead of 31. So it’s a great day. It was the cherry on top.”
Quarantillo was a little surprised he didn’t catch opponent Kilburn with an anaconda earlier in the bout. “That’s jiu-jitsu. You’ve got to make a couple of adjustments sometimes.”
“I like a fight. I wanted to bust him up, I wanted to hit him a little bit. So I’m happy with how it went, instead of finishing then,” he added.
As for the fabled octagon jitters? They weren’t a factor. “I was just excited to be in there. I honestly didn’t really think about it as much,” said Quarantillo. “I just knew, I got in that cage, it felt like just another fight. I knew I was about to get punched in the face, I knew it was going to be an old-fashioned fist fight.”
He did admit, however, that it was “kind of surreal to see Quarantillo up there in this big arena.”
As for his first UFC win, it will probably change a few things. For starters, “I actually have my real estate license that I got when I was injured, and I haven’t used it at all. I’m probably not going to use it for another while now.”
Don’t tell Al Iaquinta.
Watch the full UFC DC post-fight press scrum with Billy Quarantillo above!