Las Vegas, NV — For the second straight fight at UFC 279, Julian Erosa’s opponent missed weight.
This time out, it was Hakeem Dawodu, who hit the scales at 149.5lbs for the featherweight fight — three and a half pounds over the non-title limit in the weight class. But for “Juicy J,” the weight miss was not that big of a deal. At this point, he’s actually happy if opponents come in heavy.
“I used to get upset when people missed weight, but now I love it,” Erosa (28-9) told media outlets including Cageside Press following his unanimous decision win over Dawodu on Saturday. “[Steven] Peterson missed weight, I made a lot of money off Peterson because of the Fight of the Night. So I encourage and actually am happy if people miss weight because I’m going to get paid.”
While some might feel the fighter blowing weight has an advantage in the fight, Erosa pointed out that he tends to weigh in early, and has already rehydrated when his opponents are hitting the scale late in the window. And he’s not particularly remorseful about taking their money regardless.
“I don’t feel sorry for guys that miss weight or taking their money, because they weren’t worried about me when I was about to die in my garage making weight,” he stated. “He [Hakeem Dawodu] apologized to me, and I appreciate the professionalism, but the money that is heading my way is even better.”
Erosa appeared to frustrate his opponent in Saturday’s fight, and he believes that comes down to his unorthodox, in-your-face striking. “I think I have the attitude that’s really hard to deal with for some guys. Especially clean technical strikers. I want to get in your face, I want to get it dirty, I don’t mind getting punched to punch you. I think he likes to be clean, and if he can’t be clean, it frustrates him.”
The 6’1 featherweight also found ample success with uppercuts in the fight, something he attributes to fighting as a kid. “I learned that from street fighting techniques that I learned back when I was a kid,” Erosa said.
“I like to grab the back of the head and I just like chuck that uppercut, because a lot of people, you pull their head down and start hitting them. And I’m a tall guy, I get a lot of guys that kind of duck under. So the uppercut works well. The problem with that is sometimes if you’re trying to hit an uppercut, your hand is low and they can come over the top. Every time I can clinch somebody like that, I know I can get a couple free shots. I definitely hurt him a couple of times with that uppercut.”
Watch the full UFC 279 post-fight press scrum with Julian Erosa above.