Photo courtesy of Will Paul
REIGNING CES MMA lightweight champion Julian Lane of Mansfield, Ohio, left, returns to national television Friday, Jan. 30th, 2015 to defend his title against Boston’s Lucas Cruz on the main card of “CES MMA XXVII” live from Twin River Casino on AXS TV. Lane is fighting on AXS for the second time since beating Providence’s Luis Felix in August. There are six televised bouts on the main card.

CES MMA launches its 2015 Twin River Fight Series live tomorrow night on AXS TV



(On whether or not certain fighters excel when the pressure’s on): “I think that’s definitely a fair statement to make because there a lot of fighters I’ve trained with and they go out and they over-perform and you’re like, ‘Whoa! Where the hell did that come from?’ and, not to throw out any names because that’s disrespectful, some guys you see in training they don’t look as great and then they go out and fight their butt off and you’re impressed. There are definitely guys like that. I’m a hard worker that lets his hard work be shown in the cage. That’s where I fit in.”

(On fighting for a nationally-televised event): “The cameras don’t bother me at all. Every time you walk out you get a little nervous, you get a little butterflies in your stomach because you care so much about it, but if you didn’t care you wouldn’t get nervous and that’s something to worry about. My coach, Nate Ryan, always tells me, ‘All these people are here to watch you do something they can’t do, so go out and live in that moment.’ It’s going to come and it’s going to go really fast, but go out there and love it. It’s a different situation for me because I don’t fight because I have to. I fight because I love it. I’ve got a job, I’ve got a career, I’ve got a degree, but it’s different because I love doing it. It’s fun being out there.”

(On what his plans are following Friday’s fight): “I don’t worry too much about it. I don’t want to overlook this fight and say, ‘What’s next?’ The only thing I know is next is the next night I’m going to be at the Beyond Wrestling event at Fete Music. Other than that, I’m going to be eating a lot of pizza. That’s what next after this fight.”



(On his military experience helping him in MMA): “I was in the Army National Guard. I’m a sergeant currently. I’ve been in for about seven and a half, eight years. I spent a year in Iraq from June of 2008 to June of 2009. When the cage door closes, it’s just me and you, but what’s the worst that’s going to happen? You tap me out or you knock me out? I’m still going to be alive. Guys over there, they fight and they’re dying. I get to fight and win or lose at the end of the day I still get to go home and be with family and everything like that so that’s something I appreciate greatly. Some of our guys over there won’t get that chance. It’s one and done for them. They don’t get to tap out. They don’t get to say, ‘Okay, I’m done and I will come back next fight.’ That’s it.”

(On his process for studying film of his opponent): “I’m middle ground. I want to watch it but I don’t want to become too obsessed with it because then you start focusing on what they do rather than what you do. I watch it to see what he does, like pick up some points and everything, but I don’t have a keen eye for that. I leave that up to my coaches like my coach here, Mark Hong, I leave it up to James Meals, Jamal Patterson. They watch it, they break down the film and they tell me, ‘Hey, this might work here, this does that.’ Me? I’m just watching like, ‘Oh … okay,’ but I’m not really good at breaking down film. That’s what I have coaches for.”

(On his strategy for fighting Chuck O’Niel): “I got here doing what I do. Why would I switch now and start doing what he does? That’s where people make the mistakes. You’ve got to use what you’ve got, what got you to the point where you are. If you’re a wrestler, you wrestle. You’re a jiu-jitsu guy? Submit guys. There’s a great quote that Royce Gracie said: ‘Why would you box Mike Tyson?’ If you’re a jiu-jitsu guy, why not take him to the ground and submit? Why would you stand up with him and get your head knocked off?”



(On facing The Ultimate Fighter alum Jon Manley): “I’ve seen some of Jon’s fights. I think he’s a real nice kid. I talked to him at the NAGAs a couple of times. I think I was supposed to fight one of his teammates like four times. Twice I fell out, twice he fell out, so we know each other a little bit. He likes to grapple, he likes to grind. He’s not a finisher, so we’re kind of opposite in that way. I don’t want a decision. I hate decisions. I hate them. I almost consider them losses. I haven’t had one in a long time. I’d honestly rather lose a fight and get stopped then have a boring decision. I always try to do what I can to keep a pace that hopefully will get the fight ended. I’m going to look to do the same with Jon. I don’t think it’s going to be the biggest challenge of my career.”

(On recovering from his loss to Shedrick Goodridge in 2013): “I had sustained a concussion about four days before the fight, a pretty bad one in training. On the fence about fighting. Got caught with a knee by Shedrick maybe 45 seconds into the fight and never felt the same. Never had felt like that in a fight. I’ve got to give that kid all the credit, though. He fought well. I had him deep in some submissions that I thought was going to end the fight. He got out, fought through it, and eventually I came to a point where I literally had no energy. I felt like all the blood in my body was gone. I couldn’t contract any of my muscles, I couldn’t do anything. I just looked at the referee and said, ‘I’m done.’ But he did a great job. He hung in there. If I could’ve finished him before I gave up, then I would’ve, but it wasn’t a good feeling and if I ever get a concussion again I won’t be fighting.”

(On what his next step is following Friday night): “Watch my buddy Chuck [O’Neil] go back to the UFC, fight whoever has his title at that point, win that, fight a few more times for CES. I’m in no rush at this point. I’m not looking to get out of it. I’m 37 and I feel 25. I train with 25-year-olds and I do well with them. I’m not thinking like I was a couple years ago about taking it one fight at a time. I’m pretty much planning on fighting until I’m 40, maybe 42. I look at guys like [Dan] Henderson. Not a good showing in his last fight, but there are a lot of guys now, even Vitor [Belfort] and guys at the very, very top of the sport who are not young. I’m keeping myself young, eating well, not drinking, training right, eating right all the time. I plan on having another dozen fights.”



(On Oteri’s claim that he won’t press the action): “I’m definitely not content with going to a decision. There are a couple on my record, but I’ve been working very hard on my skills. I want to take him out in the first round. I get paid the same no matter, so the more time it takes the less money I make per unit.”

(On how he sees Friday’s fight unfolding): “I’ve watched most of his fights. I know he likes to kick, he likes to take people down. I think he shoots kind of wide. I think he’s going to have a tough time taking me down. I think he gasses. I think he’s going to have a hard time as things go on. I’m going to get stronger and stronger and he’s going to start fading. I don’t think he can keep up with me.”

(On his experience competing on The Ultimate Fighter): “It helped me a lot. Just the mental game. There’s so much pressure in that situation, so much you can get out of if or not get out of it. Obviously, it’s a weird show where they really don’t care about the fighters. It’s more like reality TV. Having to fight underneath those circumstances, you just learn to deal with fighting a whole lot more. I was thinking about it Monday. I’m like, ‘Wow, man, the fight’s on Friday.’ It feels like it’s forever away because on the show at anytime th


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