Julian Erosa Talks Submission Over Ricardo Ramos, Motivation From His Son’s Birth

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Julian Erosa (29-11 MMA, 7-7 UFC) got back into the win column in emphatic fashion when he submitted Ricardo Ramos (16-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) with a guillotine choke minutes into their back-and-forth featherweight affair at the UFC Apex on March 23.

Erosa cinched a tight guillotine at 2:15 into the fight, forcing Ramos to tap.

“Ramos really likes to shoot to the outside and go to the back to shoot,” Erosa told MMASucka. “He kind of shoots with his head down so if he stays in front of you, he kind of leaves his neck open. Usually, what he likes to do is he’ll shoot and then turn the corner very well. I’ve been training with a lot of guys who do that themselves.”

Ramos failed to finish Erosa after landing a right hand followed by a knee about 40 seconds into the bout. Erosa said he saw in Ramos’s face that his opponent was already tiring even though he had Erosa on the ropes.

“When he shot that takedown, I’m so used to guys shooting and trying to cut the corner that I was able to grab the neck and jump the guillotine into the guard,” Erosa said. “That’s just kind of what happened. I watched him fight Charles Jourdain, and Charles was able to get away with the same thing after Ramos was basically getting the better of Charles for about two minutes and was still susceptible to that guillotine. I think the guillotine and the D’Arce are probably two of my highest-percentage subs in the gym against some of the toughest guys in the world.”

Erosa said the guillotine he got Ramos with wasn’t his best. He usually likes to finger-four his legs around the body and have a little deeper bite, he explained.

“I just knew [Ramos] was willing to give up,” Erosa said. “If I gave him a position to give up, he was gonna do it, and it was tight enough to get him to do that.”

Erosa emerged on the right side of a wild two minutes after Ramos stunned him early.

Erosa said there’s a difference between having to recover when one’s equilibrium gets thrown off, and there are times where one gets hit and they see a “little bit of a flash.” Erosa said it was the latter when Ramos hit him, and he was still there cognitively and understood what he needed to do to recover.

“My equilibrium was still there and I was able to clinch with him. Once I clinched with him, I had the over-under. I was already aware of what was going on and what I needed to do there. That’s why I kind of felt like I was almost OK with him taking me down. We had been working so much on the ground, and I knew my ground game was going to be better than his. I figured if he wanted to clinch from that position, let’s do it. Let’s clinch up, let’s go to the ground. If he wants to take me down, that’s perfectly fine. Not only did I recover, but that’s actually where I want to be in a less advantaged spot. He was in my guard. That was actually where I felt some of the most comfortable in my grappling. I was totally perfectly aware at that point and was willing to engage in the grappling at that point, as well.”

Erosa said the fight was “a bit rocky” to start with but is happy with the outcome. He feels fans enjoy the rollercoaster nature of his fights, anyway.

“People love watching my fights because they’re back-and-forth and they’re always exciting in that sense. If I go out there and dominate somebody, it’s nice to see that, but people are intrigued by the back-and-forth. I always seem to get myself in those kind of situations, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I was able to overcome a little bit of adversity and get the win, still.”

Erosa’s fan-friendly style gave him a bit more peace of mind as he entered the Ramos fight riding a two-fight losing streak. The idea of losing three in a row and getting cut was present in Erosa’s mind, though.

“Losing three times in a row is never good, especially in the UFC,” he said. “Luckily for me, the UFC sees me as one of those guys, win lose or draw, it’s always going to be a spectacle. People want to watch my fights. So I think I have that going for me. But that being said, you’ve got to win fights. In the UFC, if you’re not winning fights, you’re going to get cut eventually. That’s happened to me. I’ve been cut twice before and hired for a third time. I’m blessed to be able to still do what I love at the highest level in the UFC.”

Erosa wasn’t thinking about that once he got into the Octagon with Ramos, however. His mind was at east, and he focused on the fight itself.

“It didn’t put any added pressure on me, but I knew it was something I knew could possibly happen if I lost that fight,” he said of the possibility of getting cut.

He lost to Alex Caceres and Fernando Padilla heading into the Ramos bout, but had won six of seven before that. His biggest wins have come over the likes of Sean Woodson, Charles Jourdain, Hakeem Dawodu and Nate Landwehr.

Erosa’s wife gave birth to the couple’s firstborn child, A.J., on March 14 – eight days before the fight. Erosa said he would have considered pulling out of the bout if it was a week before.

“When I was at the hospital, my allergies were kicking my ass so badly,” he said. “The pollen in Las Vegas at the time had gone into the red and it was causing a lot of people’s allergies to get pretty crazy. I was telling my coaches and some of my training partners that if the fight was scheduled for the week before, I don’t know if I would’ve had to pull out. I’m not the type to pull out of any fight. My allergies were so fricking bad that I thought I was sick, man. I thought I had a sinus infection.”

Erosa also wasn’t sleeping much because of the things that happen when one has a child. He said his wife took care of the majority of the responsibilities for the first week of A.J.’s life so Erosa could focus on the fight.

A.J. being born meant “so much more” than Erosa could explain when it came to motivating him to take on Ramos.

“It’s really hard to find the words that describe. They always say until you have a kid, you don’t really understand what it’s like to have a kid. It’s something I didn’t understand until I had him,” he said.

What his wife went through also gave Erosa strength. The two have been together for 14 years and have been married for about 7-and-a-half years.

“We’ve been together for quite a long time and been through all the ups and downs and ins and outs through a lot of things in her life. To see her go through that was probably the toughest thing physically for her. Seeing that one week before my fight, which obviously is a physical thing and mental thing I have to do, it really made it easier for me. I was so calm. I’m usually pretty calm, but I was even more calm because of that. In my mind, if she could do this, I could go out and fight. That’s no problem.”

Erosa said he is looking for a quick turnaround and wants to fight again in June or July.

He mentioned Youssef Zalal having won against Billy Quarantillo and said he might be a potential opponent.

“Somebody posted something about me and Andre Fili,” Erosa said. “I could see that fight happening. I would like, maybe, the winner of Bill Algeo and Kyle Nelson.”

Those two are set to clash on Saturday.

Erosa said there are a lot of featherweights out there and he isn’t picky about who he fights next.

“I think I fall in the position where I could fight newcomers in the UFC, I could fight vets in the UFC, I could fight a top-15 guy in the UFC. I feel like I’m in a spot where I could almost basically fight anybody. Whoever they want to put me up against. I told my management, I told Sean [Shelby], that I want to fight as soon as possible. Hopefully, I can get something turned around within the next two or three months.”

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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