Rivalries Featuring Julio Arce

Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight Julio Arce has been on a rollercoaster since making it to the big leagues via Dana White’s Contender Series. Injuries? Yeah, they sidelined him for a bit. Made him rethink his game, even pushed him back to his original fighting weight. Despite throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it, his record’s been a bit of a seesaw lately. Yet, hope’s not lost. He’s eyeing each fight as a chance to turn things around.

This Saturday, he’s stepping into the Octagon in Atlantic City, New Jersey, squaring off against Herbert Burns at UFC on ESPN 54. Arce’s not just looking for a win; he’s aiming to make a statement in the bantamweight division.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of fight night, let’s take a stroll down memory lane. We’ll peek at some of the rivalries that have shaped Arce’s journey in MMA.

When you talk about the Ring of Combat, Arce’s name comes up as a legend. His debut? A unanimous decision win against Dennis Dombrow at ROC 45. Not stopping there, he snagged a submission victory over Corey Simmons. Then, at ROC 47, he clinched the bantamweight title from Jason McLean. Talk about making a statement.

Enter Brian Kelleher. Their bouts in ROC are the stuff of legends. Their first clash at ROC 52 was a tug-of-war that saw Kelleher snagging a majority decision. Not one to back down, Arce got a shot at redemption, but Kelleher doubled down with a guillotine choke in their second face-off at ROC 54. Kelleher’s win paved his way to the UFC.

Fast forward to UFC 220, Arce debuted against Dan Ige, a top-ranked featherweight contender. Ige tried to dominate early on, but Arce wasn’t having it. He pressed on, showing his dominance in the later rounds. The judges? They gave it to Arce unanimously, marking his sixth consecutive win.

After a year-plus hiatus, Arce came back to face Andre Ewell in July 2021. The first round was a tight contest, but Arce turned up the heat in the second. A powerful left hand followed by a barrage of strikes had Ewell in trouble. The ref had to step in, giving Arce the win, even as Ewell protested the stoppage. Fans got to see an even better version of Arce, one who didn’t rush to finish but still got the job done.

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