Though he might not be from the biggest area or biggest team, Julian Erosa has made the most of what he’s got and at 8-0 is becoming one of the top prospects in the Northwest.
“I come from a smaller town, Yakama, Wash., but have a bunch of people that are good training partners, whether they’re amateur or pros,” said Erosa. “People like Meisha Tate, Brian Caraway and a bunch of amateur kids that are just tough kids.
“Those kids give as much back to me as I do to them. I’m not much of a wrestler and don’t have a lot of wrestling experience, so a lot of these kids are really good wrestlers and get my wrestling tuned up pretty good, while I help them more with standing and jiu-jitsu. We give back to each other.”
Aside from the close-knit training atmosphere of his training camp, Erosa’s success has come in large part to his ability to effectively manage himself in bouts.
“I’m really good at being able to step in the cage calm, cool and collected, and really just figure out step-by-step in the cage what to do to win the fight,” he said. “I don’t let my emotions take a hold of me. If I get hit, I’m not going to blow up and just freak out on somebody and gas myself out.”
Next up for Erosa is a return to CageSport on Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash., against a fighter he feels mirrors him in many ways, Jason Gybels.
“It’s good to get matched up with somebody that’s my size, so I don’t get comfortable and used to being the taller, lankier guy and I have to find my way around it,” said Erosa of Gybels. “It will really be nice to work my stand-up against someone who’s as tall and lanky as me.”
Due to Gybels’ size, Erosa told MMAWeekly.com that while the ground isn’t totally ruled out, it would probably be best to avoid grappling with his opponent in order to get the win.
“He’s probably going to be one of the more dangerous submission guys I’ve faced because arm chokes or triangle chokes are really dangerous for a long, lanky guy,” said Erosa. “What I’m probably going to do is keep the fight standing because that’s where I’m most comfortable and I feel like I have an edge in the fight.
“He’s not a crazy wrestler or anything, so if he really wants to go to the ground, he’s going to have to grind me down and drag me to the ground. But for this fight I’m going to try to keep standing as much as possible.”
Having had the chance to build the majority of his career locally, Erosa knows eventually he’ll have to branch out and plans to be ready for whatever opportunity comes his way.
“I love CageSport, but at the same time, if I get to the spot where I have 10 or 11 wins with a pretty good record, I’m really hoping to fight in the UFC and make my name a little bit bigger,” he said. “I’m willing to fight wherever and whenever against whoever. Whether it’s on The Ultimate Fighter or someone gets injured and they need somebody, I’m willing to do it.
“Once they’ve seen how I fight, win or lose, they’re going to be impressed by my skillset and ask me back for more fights, and that will mean an opportunity for me to move up the ranks and fight on bigger shows.”