Juan Adams didn’t have much time to develop as a fighter before he got the call to the UFC.
Adams made his amateur debut in September of 2016 and quickly turned pro not even a full year later. As a pro, he started his career out 3-0 before getting a shot on the Contender Series and winning and earning a UFC contract.
After he earned his contract, Adams was a hyped-up heavyweight prospect who in his debut TKO’d Chris De La Rocha. But, in his next three fights, he lost a very close to decision to Arjan Bhullar and then was TKO’d in the first round by Greg Hardy and Justin Tafa. Three straight losses solidified his fate as he was released by the UFC.
Now, in his first interview since being released, Juan Adams says getting to the UFC this early was a good learning experience for him.
“Maybe, only time will tell [if I was ready]. I think I was ready. I feel I beat Bhullar who was close to being a top-15 heavyweight,” Juan Adams said to BJPENN.com. “My other two losses were freak occurrences and that happens at heavyweight. That’s just how it is. I was ready and still believe I am ready.”
Although Adams was released he says getting four fights in the UFC helped him realize what it takes to win in the promotion. He also believes he’ll be back in the Octagon sooner rather than later.
“Ultimately, it was a good learning experience for me. I feel like I won my fight in Ottawa against Arjan Bhullar. Had I won that fight, it would have changed things. But, I have learned a lot. I’ve had eight pro fights, twelve total fights. I made my UFC debut less than three years from my amateur debut,” Adams explained. “The time where most guys are getting experience and fighting in regional shows and fighting different styles, I was in the UFC. I didn’t get that opportunity, I was learning on the fly. Now, I know what it is like at that level. If it’s in the cards to be in the UFC again that is where I will be. I’m also open to fighting in other promotions.
“Fighting in the UFC was an accomplishment for me, that was a goal of mine. I was 26, 27 at the time. At the time the UFC champion was like 34. So, I figured I’d be four of five years before I was even close to title contention,” Juan Adams continued. “So, my goal was to try and learn and build a brand for myself and I did a decent job of that. There are things you can improve and winning is the most important thing and I didn’t do that. It took me less than three years to make it there last time and I don’t expect it to take that long this time if that is what is in the cards for me.”
In the end, Juan Adams has since signed with ARES Fighting Championship and is excited about the opportunity.
What do you make of Juan Adams discussing his UFC tenure and do you agree that he’ll be back in the Octagon?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/25/2020.