EXCLUSIVE | Juan Archuleta plans to take out Jeremy Spoon, earn title shots in three Bellator divisions

Juan Archuleta
Image: Juan Archuleta on Instagram

Juan Archuleta has long stood out as one of the most exciting prospects in the Bellator featherweight division. In his Friday night Bellator 210 fight with Jeremy Spoon, he’ll look to take another big step toward divisional champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

To say Archuleta is excited for this looming test would be an understatement.

“When they told me that’s who I was fighting I was like, ‘Heck, yeah.’ I always get excited when they try to put me to the test,” Archuleta said on the latest episode of BJPENN Radio. “This guy’s 21-4, a veteran in the sport, it’s a well-rounded guy. I watched some film on him, and he brings it, and definitely on paper has a bigger pedigree than I do as far as wrestling, and just been longer in the sport than me and fought some good named guys. So I’m looking forward to going out there and demonstrating again a perfectly well-executed game plan and perfecting a flawless victory and just having fun out there and putting on a show for my fans.”

While Archuleta recognizes that Spoon will be a tough test, it’s a test he’s feeling wholly prepared for, as he’s been training alongside UFC stars TJ Dillashaw and Cub Swanson, and under the tutelage of renowned coach Duane Ludwig.

“I’ve just been training my butt off,” he said. “I’ve worked a lot with Duane Ludwig this fight, and then with my teammates as well, Cub Swanson, TJ Dillashaw, and just all the guys that have been helping me out. I spent a lot of time in Denver becoming one of Duane Ludwig’s proteges now and just spending a lot of time with them and just trying to incorporate a lot more of my Muay Thai that he’s been having success with with TJ.

“[Ludwig is] just a wizard when it comes to putting things together for me and adapting to my style and letting myself still be me and then adding on to his curriculum that he has into it. So it’s just a pleasure working with a guy like that. I get to train with Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson, Duane Ludwig, Cub Swanson, and TJ Dillashaw, man. I’ve really grown a liking to all of them and incorporating all their styles into one. And just [have] so much confidence going into this fight, leading into it, that no matter where the fight goes I’m gonna be dominant no matter what.”

If Juan Archuleta is able to score a win against Jeremy Spoon at Bellator 210, he believes he’ll be right in the midst of the featherweight title conversation. The featherweight belt, however, is not his only goal. He’s also got his eyes on the prize in the bantamweight division.

“I think a win in this [fight] is gonna solidify my title run for 145 [pounds],” he said. “Pitbull [Freire], he’s in a good spot right now. He gets to pick between AJ McKee, Aaron Pico, Darrion Caldwell, myself, and a few others that are in the lineup. I feel after this fight I wanna go down to ’35 and just win a good fight there and solidify myself for 135 just in case. If I don’t get this ’45 title fight, I could definitely go down to ’35, win a fight, show them that I’m capable of doing that, and put my name in the hat for both drawings.”

As if his goal of claiming the Bellator featherweight and bantamweight titles wasn’t impressive enough, Juan Archuleta is also hoping to win the title in the 155-pound lightweight division.

“If I don’t get a title fight here soon, [I want] to go up and just make some noise there too, just to say, ‘Hey, man. I could do any weight class. Just let me know who wants me to step in. Who’s gonna accept the fight.’

“I’m looking even to be a triple champ. It’s just one fight at a time, and who knows.”

Juan Archuleta will look to take the next step toward this lofty goal at Bellator 210 tomorrow night — at the expense of Jeremy Spoon.

“I see me just overwhelming Jeremy Spoon,” he said of the matchup. “I see him wanting to quit or me getting the knockout. Either way is gonna be feasible for me to do. Like I told you before, I love going 15 minutes because I train so hard for it. I hope they last 15 minutes, but I’ll take the knockout or the finish if it comes.”

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/29/2018.