In our last interview with Ana Julaton, we asked about her favorite Filipino dish and the Golden State Warriors.
For the second part of the interview, we asked her more in depth questions about Mixed Martial Arts.
Check it out!
Q: How was the transition from boxing to mixed martial arts?
Julaton: It’s two completely different worlds. My background is martial arts. From the beginning, I learned how to give respect. There’s a lot of traditions, there’s a lot of ethics in martial arts that teaches the students. When I got into boxing, you have to earn your respect.
As a woman in a male-dominated sport, I had to stay on my own two feet and had to make my presence known. I had to blend in the environment and be a fighter all around. And so, with that said, coming into MMA there’s a lot of pride I have from boxing that I live and die with my fists. I still do, but I feel that’s an asset to all the things I’m learning in MMA.
I’m just really lucky that I have someone like a Ricky Lundell taking me under his wing in his camp, and working side-by-side with my boxing coach Angelo Reyes. It’s amazing, they set their egos aside, learn from each other, and they were able to develop a style that transitions from standing to the pummeling, the grappling, to the ground work, to the cage work, and then taking it back to the standing and you have the whole cycle.It’s the biggest thing that needs to be taught to an MMA practitioner is you have to understand the sport of the game.
Q: How about training inside the Bishop Gorman camp?
Julaton: It’s a crash course. Ricky Lundell trains a lot of pioneering MMA fighters and I got to work really close with Frank Mir and I got to train side-by-side and learn the techniques, understand the transitions, and kinda understand how camp works. I was literally there, watching him do strength conditioning, watch him do striking, go over the mat room and watch him do his grappling throughout the several weeks.
Just by watching it, studying how camp works, that was the way Angelo Reyes had me just learn through Freddie Roach [when] I had to watch Manny Pacquiao. When Manny wakes up five, six o’clock in the morning, run through Griffith Park in Los Angeles five miles, eat, hydrate, rest up, go back to Wild Card [Gym], work out for several hours, and do it all over again.
That’s the best way for any fighter to learn is to actually watch a world-class athlete who’s going through a camp for a superfight and just get ready for the best shape of their life. So, I was able to grasp a little bit of that with those UFC fighters, so I’m really, really fortunate.
Q: On picking up lessons from the UFC fighters
Julaton: I don’t know where to begin. I didn’t even begin to grasp until I got into this camp. We’ve been training for 16 weeks, it’s been a long time. I’ve been in the Gorman room throughout the year. But to have a specific camp where I’m focusing on my ground game, you get a butt kicking when you get into the cage or into the ring and you’re going up against someone who’s really good and they understand the craft, and you’ve got to fight and you have to go through your own adversities, that’s a lot. I feel like I picked up a lot from what I saw from all those UFC fighters into my own camp when I experienced it myself. I’m glad it’s over and I’m glad I’m finally having this fight where I focus on 15 minutes instead of several weeks of pain, sweat and motions.
Q: Importance of having a fighter gaining clamor to fight in boxing or MMA
Julaton: It starts from being a good student, learning the craft, and just having the proper coaching and understanding the game, so that when you actually perform the people will gravitate towards that and identify towards that. It should inspire people when you’re in the cage and you’re fighting and you throw a really good punch and you knock ‘em out, or if you happen to do a double-leg takedown and finish them with ground-and-pound or a submission, that inspires people.
A lot of people are martial arts practitioners, but I feel as an MMA fighter you have to find a niche and style. You have to thrive off of that.
Q: On taking on an immediate title fight in MMA or boxing
In my entire fight career, this is the hardest camp I’ve ever been through. There’s just a lot and I pushed myself to a standard where I couldn’t imagine myself being, just because I opened myself to this new idea of mixed martial arts. It’s a different beast all together. Just to go at a high pace in a boxing match is a lot. But to do it in five minutes over several rounds in MMA, you have to be ready every second.