Following his first loss in two years to Seung Woo Choi at UFC Fight Night last June, featherweight Julian Erosa was able to rebound and pick up his second win of 2021 when he faced Charles Jourdain three months later at another UFC Fight Night.
While he might have preferred to have had a full camp leading up to another fight, when the opportunity came up to face Jourdain on short notice, Erosa was more than happy to meet the challenge.
“After I lost to Choi I wanted to get another fight before the year was up, but the UFC was booking out so far, so the only way to get a fight was to take a short notice fight and the Jourdain fight popped up,” Erosa told MMAWeekly.com.
“He was a good striker, and I wanted to keep the range, then keep the pressure on him and get him to the ground, and then I finished it with a D’Arce choke.”
Now that he’s about to kick off his 2022, Erosa isn’t too concerned with building off of last year’s 2-1 run, but rather just focus on what’s directly in front of him this year.
“I think every fight is in itself; its own camp, its own opponent, your own game plan for that fight,” said Erosa. “You can’t be too low on losses or too high on wins; you’ve got to focus on the task at hand regardless of what’s happened before.
“For me I’m just focused 100% on (my upcoming fight). It’s like the last day of my life basically; I need to focus on 100% February 5 and then just move forward after that, regardless of what happens.”
This Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, Erosa (26-9) will look to pick up his second win in a row when he faces Steven Peterson (19-9) in a 145-pound main card bout at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Strickland.
“I think Steven Peterson brings toughness, durability, and a willingness to fight,” Erosa said. “I think I bring that too, but also on top of that I think my skillset is better than his all around. I’m also a bit bigger than he is. I think that’s going to be a big advantage for me as well; my size, my length, and my range.
“I know he likes to come out and pressure, but I like to pressure, but I like to keep my range until I start to pick him apart on my feet, then put the pressure on and mix my grappling with my striking and get him to the ground. I think taking it to the ground is going to be advantageous to me.”
Over a decade into his career, quickly approaching 40 pro fights, Erosa still approaches the sport as something he enjoys rather than a job, and it helps keeping him move forward in 2022.
“You can’t lose that mindset of it being like a hobby,” said Erosa. “I love to do it and that’s my motivation to do it and stick with it, even though my ups and downs, being in and out of the UFC. Keeping that motivation will help keep me successful in2022.
“Also getting favorable match-ups, guys that will be good match-ups for me as well. Just choosing my opponents and just being smart with everything is going to make me more successful in 2022.”