Juan Archuleta (26-4) will go toe-to-toe with Soo Chul Kim (18-6-1) at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan on December 31st. Bellator vs. Rizin will be one of the most exciting MMA events of the year, as Bellator contenders go head-to-head with those of Rizin FF.
Juan Archuleta took time to speak with LowKick MMA’s Alex Lerman to discuss what this opportunity means to him, preview his Bantamweight Feature Bout on the card with Kim, and offer up his insight on recent MMA judging controversies.
On competing at such a unique event like Bellator vs. Rizin, Archuleta said:
“I’m super honored, super grateful man. Not only are we making history in MMA, but I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do which is fight in Japan. So, I’m super excited, stoked and blessed all at the same time.”
Before getting into the fight, Archuleta spoke on some of his hobbies and how he spends his time outside the gym:
“When I’m not training, I’m training, when I’m not in camp, I’m training and I’m coaching. But no, I like to spend time with my family, I like farming; I actually have my own farm in Northern California in Humboldt. We grow cannabis, heirloom vegetables, and I like to hunt, fish, dive, and vacation, and you know, just being an extremist.”
Archuleta certainly takes on an interesting lifestyle outside of fighting to go with his impressive career inside the cage.
Juan Archuleta on matchup with Soo Chul Kim
Going into this fight, Juan Archuleta looks to improve his win streak to two after defeating Enrique Barzola in October via Unanimous Decision. When asked about what to expect from his opponent Kim this time around, Archuleta stated:
“(Kim is) very similar to my last opponent where Barzola was well rounded, we put on a high pace fight, and I’m looking forward to be doing that this fight as well In Japan, where they really appreciate martial arts… To have a worthy enough opponent that’s gonna put his offense together as well as mine, I’m super excited.”
Archuleta continued and offered an interesting perspective on how he wanted to win this fight. On this subject, Archuleta continues:
“I want to spend as much time in that ring as I can because I don’t know if I’ll ever be back there again, so I plan on taking this guy’s soul. I want to go out there and either make him quit or just show 15 minutes of dominance… just being in that ring as long as I can showing pure dominance.”
As opposed to many fighters, Archuleta isn’t specifically looking for a finish but added that if the opportunity presented itself, he wouldn’t say no. Archuleta also had comments to add about fighters that do specifically look for finishes:
“Well, that’s insecurities right, that’s guys who aren’t sure about themselves, guys who don’t love the sport that are just doing it for fame and fortune. This is what I do, this is what I’m passionate about… To go out there an compete, that’s where I’m the most happy and most calm at… going inside of the cage and spending as much time as I can in there.”
Archuleta on Recent MMA Judging Controversies
Making headlines across MMA media, recent judges’ decisions have been the center of controversy. In the fight between Danny Sabatello and Raufeon Stots, one judge scored it 50-45 for Sabatello despite overwhelming consensus that Stots clearly won the fight. Soon after, at UFC 282, Paddy Pimblett was awarded a Unanimous Decision victory over Jared Gordon which sparked controversy as well.
Archuleta had many thoughts to offer on the recent state of MMA judging:
“You can’t be pissed off at the judges when they give their opinion on who wins a fight, they’re judges, like that’s what they’re supposed to do… I don’t know why people get so offended or butthurt… If you’re a martial artist, you got to do your homework on who’s judging you. You can’t just say this judging is so inconsistent, well yeah so is martial arts… Different judges have different interpretations on who wins a fight, and you can’t take that away from them.”
This interview with Archuleta was extremely interesting, unique, and refreshing to hear a perspective that differs from the majority of fighters and fans. MMA fans around the world, tune in and watch Bellator vs. Rizin to see Juan Archuleta take on Soo Chul Kim in the Bantamweight Feature bout on New Year’s Eve.
Watch the entire interview below for the entirety of Archuleta’s comments: