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In the main event of LFA, Brazilian lightweight contender, Arthur Estrazulas, looks to capture LFA gold against Nick Browne and get his name in front of the big players in the MMA game, namely Dana White. Estrazulas comes into the fight at 12-4 and with a win, he could get that very opportunity. LFA has a knack for producing some of the best future stars in the UFC and Estrazulas can be the next.
His journey fighting wasn’t one he set out to do originally. Being from one of the world’s epicenters of mixed martial arts, and martial arts in general, Arthur Estrazulas simply couldn’t escape it. He fooled around with other martial arts as a kid. But it was his friends that got him involved into Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. Estarzulas loved the community and as he was just going with the flow, he found himself having fights thrown at him.
“I didn’t want to be a fighter, you know? In Brazilian culture, being at the gym is something normal. [I was] a guy who is raised with all my friends playing soccer and doing activities. I did taekwondo when I was a kid but not much. I did capoeira for a couple months, I did Muay Thai. Before I started being a pro fighter I was at the gym because all my friends were there. I just like the community, especially with the Jiu Jitsu guys. Then when they offered me fights we always said yes just to be in the group.”
It wasn’t a easy road to get to where he’s at today. Arthur Estrazulas had a good road and has had his ass kicked on the way up. But, one thing that’s never been taken from Estrazulas is his heart. It was that heart and determination that got him through the beginning and had him hooked on mixed martial arts.
“I did a couple amateur fights for Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu, I fought a lot when I was a white belt and blue belt, purple belt a little bit too. After I did one fight for Muay Thai pro, the guy kicked my ass. He kicked my ass but I kept coming forward. I didn’t have the skills but I had heart. And that was the thing, the owner of the show said, ‘Man, you showed a lot of heart.’ I was mad and said, ‘No man, that’s not enough.’ At the same time they offered me a MMA fight. I said if I cannot beat the guy with my Muay Thai, I can beat him with the Jiu Jitsu. To be honest, after that first MMA pro fight in 2010, I loved it. I loved the feeling. I loved the interest. For 15 minutes, I had the attention on me for people who wanted to see me win and for people who wanted to see me dead. I liked the feeling.”
Arthur Estrazulas vs. Nick Browne | LFA 97
As mentioned, Estrazulas has the belt on the line at LFA 97. Training for a fight, much less a fight with a major championship attached to it, is not easy, especially in the times we live in. But, Estrazulas did not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop him and he found ways to keep improving. Now having such implications attached to his next bout, the motivation is all the more.
“It’s been a long camp. The fight was rescheduled but nothing changed much. I think we have good support here. A lot of friends of mine have a gym in their own garage. I never stopped training, grinding all the time if I have a fight or not. But definitely when you schedule an important fight like this it gives you extra gas.”
Arthur Estrazulas is looking forward to a great year. He admits he hasn’t been the most active in the past, but plans to make 2021 his. You can look forward to a more active Estrazulas, one aiming for the top of the top at 155.
“I’ve been 11 years in this game as a professional. To be honest, I think I should be fighting much more than I have. I have like 15 or 16 fights. In 11 years, that’s not that much. At the same time, I’m always ready to fight. I hope this changes in 2021. I start off on the right foot and get more fights a year.”
Estrazulas isn’t resting on his laurels either. He has a goal in mind, as mentioned before. To get to the UFC, he knows he needs to improve and, more importantly, keep improving. Estrazulas talks about looking at past fights where he’s looked good and growing to hate himself in that fight, knowing he can get better.
“Mindset, I know this is an important fight. First, the belt from LFA is beautiful. I want it on my wall. Second, I know from there, I’m probably going to reach the UFC. Thinking about preparation, I always think I can do better. I keep grinding my game if I have a fight or not. If I do a nice fight, like the one in ACB. I love when I fought there, I fought so smooth. I watched the fight and I started hating my things. I want to be better. I train with so many great guys. I always have to be prepared. There is not something special I will train. I checked this guy, he’s a good fighter. I know I have more experience than him, I can see it when I watch him fight. But he is there to win, you know. The best way to show respect is to be ready for everything.”
Nick Browne is a game opponent, and Estrazulas knows it. But, training out of Kings MMA, Arthur Estrazulas knows that he has some of the best fighters in the world helping him grow every day. Names like Beneil Dariush have been alongside Estrazulas and he knows that this time, the belt is his.
“I train with guys like Beneil Dariush, Giga Chikadze, so many high level guys in all aspects like Muay Thai fighters, kickboxers, grapplers. I feel ready to fight anyone. If they cancel this fight against any top ten in the UFC, I’m going to say yes and be ready to fight them. I really want this belt. I’m focused on Nick Browne. I think it’s going to be a great match. Both of us want this opportunity but I know it’s my turn. I know his turn is coming soon. He looks like a great guy. But, it’s my turn.”