Since moving to the United States two years ago to further develop his all-around game, lightweight up and comer Arthur Estrazulas has been able to showcase his growth, picking up two finishes in two fights.
For his first fight since the move, Estrazulas defeated UFC veteran Chris Tickle for King of the Cage by submission, and then followed that up earlier this year with a first round TKO of Daniel Vasquez Trigoso for Combate Cotas.
“(Tickle) was a good fighter, he started strong, but I really felt comfortable with my game,” Estrazulas told MMAWeekly.com. “I put a lot of pressure on him. He tried to take me down slow, and I finished him with a triangle.
“(Trigoso) was also really strong. He started with good pressure in the beginning, but I handled him. I finished with like a Thai finish – that’s my new game, Muay Thai – which Rafael Cordeiro is teaching me every day.”
With his recent success, Estrazulas has earned himself a main event fight at RFA 42. It’s the kind of opportunity he’s been waiting for to help announce himself to the MMA world outside his native Brazil.
“The RFA is a good show with a good name,” said Estrazulas. “It’s on AXS TV, and that’s really important. The main event is always special. All the attention is for you. They are waiting for your fight.
“This is my chance to present to everyone. I’ve been working hard for a long time. And I think it’s time that everybody knows who Arthur Estrazulas is.”
For his RFA debut, Estrazulas (8-2) steps up to face Christos Giagos (12-5) in a 155-pound main event on August 19 in Visalia, California.
“He trains at Black House, so I know a lot of guys know his game,” Estrazulas said of Giagos. “Everybody has told me that he’s not so much technical, but really strong. He likes to move forward. That’s the kind of game that I like, because I like to move forward too.
“I don’t think it’s going to last all three rounds. I’m ready to exchange with him. I will work my Muay Thai for sure. I think if he puts me down, I don’t think it will be trouble for me to work the Jiu-Jitsu. He’s a good opponent for me.”
While a main event fight on a nationally televised show would be huge for Estrazulas’ career, his focus is more on continuing to develop his game, so that when he does step up to another level, he’ll be ready for it.
“I’ve been changing my game the last two years, but I have to get more confidence with more fights,” he said. “The best experience you can have is a fight.
“For sure I’d like to fight for the UFC in the future, but I don’t want to just jump there. I can have more experience with more fights like this one right now. For now I just want to fight as much as possible, and at the end of this year we’ll see what the future will have for me.”