Julian Erosa is expecting a very fun fight at UFC 279 against Hakeem Dawodu.
After Erosa beat Steven Peterson back in February, in a ‘Fight of the Night’ performance, he called out Dawodu and Alex Caceres. Erosa wanted a bigger step-up in competition and got his wish as he will face Dawodu this weekend at UFC 279. Although he got the matchup he wanted, Erosa says his return was pushed back a couple of times.
“After the Peterson fight, it was obviously a tougher fight and me and my wife had a lot of stuff going on, we had moved into a new house and we had some other things going on so it was nice to have a little bit of a break,” Erosa said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Just enjoying a successful night, I have to shout him (Peterson) out because if he didn’t miss weight I wouldn’t have gotten paid as much as I did. It was finally time to chill and enjoy myself and deal with some personal things. I did want to get back in June or July and it got pushed back further and further.”
Against Dawdou, Erosa knows the Canadian is a very technical kickboxer so he knows he can’t just stand and trade with him.
The goal for Julian Erosa is to mix in his wrestling and make it a crazy and dirty fight as ‘Juicy J’ believes that is where he shines. He is confident if he can force Dawodu into a brawl instead of a technical kickboxing match he can have success.
“Hakeem is very good, very technical, and very talented. But, he keeps going the distance and people talk about how he has power but he seems to go the distance quite a bit,” Erosa said. “I’m hoping that goes the case because I have been knocked out a couple of times by some heavy-handed guys and with him, it’s going to be the pace and the longer the fight goes the better it is for me. I come on stronger the later it goes on… Just shoot takedowns and throw unorthodox strikes and most importantly I have to stay away from his power…
“I’ve never really had much of a game plan in my fights but as I get to these types of fights, I have to pick and choose what I do,” Erosa later added. “A good example is Mike Trizano and I think he got lured into a kickboxing fight with Hakeem and it’s tough to do that against someone who is so technical as Hakeem is. For me, I just have to make it dirty, I have to make it a high-pace fight and mix it up early on. I do really well when it’s kind of a mess. If I can make it dirty and avoid his power early on, it will be a bit longer night than he expects.”
Although the goal for Erosa is to get his hand raised, he also wants to make it an exciting fight. He has been vocal in the past saying he would rather win bonuses and at UFC 279 that remains the case as he is hoping for another FOTN of POTN bonus.
“I’m a bonus chaser, man, I don’t necessarily care for the win, I get more money on bonuses than I do on my win purse. If I can make it a crazy fight it would be good for my bank account,” Erosa said.
If Erosa does beat Dawodu at UFC 279, he could be getting a ranked opponent next. However, he says he isn’t focusing on that as the main goal is fighting and beating Dawdou and he will worry about what is next after Saturday night.
“If I beat Hakeem it puts me in that spot to fight maybe the 10th or 11th ranked guy or someone in that area,” Erosa concluded. “I just never think about that, as right now I’m only focused on winning this fight and putting together another good performance.”
Do you think Julian Erosa will beat Hakeem Dawdou at UFC 279?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM