EXCLUSIVE | Bellator 201’s Juan Archuleta eyeing titles in multiple divisions

By Tom Taylor - June 14, 2018

Juan Archuleta

At 18-1 overall, Juan Archuleta boasts one of the most impressive records of any fighter on the Bellator MMA roster. At Bellator 201, which goes down on June 29 in Temecula, California, he’ll look to make that record even more impressive with a win over UFC veteran Robbie Peralta.

Despite the incredible condition of his record, which reflects his world-class ability as a fighter, Archuleta is still flying under the radar of many MMA fans. And for the moment, he’s ok with that.

“I definitely feel like I’m overshadowed, but that’s okay with me,” Archuleta said on a recent episode of BJPENN.COM Radio. “I know where I stand in this sport, because I train with one of the best MMA fighters, in my opinion, pound-for-pound, in the world which is TJ Dillashaw. And having his coaching [as the] driving force behind me with the Dwayne Ludwig, and [with] Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson as my head coach… The coaching that we have, I know where I stand in the sports, so I’m not afraid to fly under the radar. I grew up with five older brothers that have wrestled, and they always had more accolades then I did. So I’m used to it.”

While Archuleta is content to fly under the radar for now, he’s hoping to make waves as a two-division Bellator champion in the future. Interestingly, he’s actually interested in challenging Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell before competing for the title at featherweight, which is the division he currently calls home.

“When I signed with Bellator, they were asking what weight class I wanted to [compete at] and I told them, ‘I would love to go multiple weight classes.'”

“The first fight they wanted me to go 145 (featherweight), and this one [against Peralta] ’45. Me personally, I wanna go down while I still can, while my body will allow it to drop down to ’35 (bantamweight), and go for a title run there before I step in and start making a title contention at 145… Yeah I mean that’ll be the ideal situation.”

Interestingly, Archuleta actually considers Bellator bantamweight champ Darrion Caldwell a tougher test than Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

“[Caldwell] comes with the great wrestling background like myself, and I feel like that’s my strong suit,” he said. “I’m [going to] leave it up to Dwayne and Joe Stevenson to game plan for it, and Tiki Goshen. But I feel for me, for my style, it’s going to be Caldwell [that is the toughest fight]. Patricio… there’s ways around a power-hitter. Making him move, making his feet move, and having him swing for the fences is what I want, but keeping fast, and keeping the high-paced output will wear him down.”

While Juan Archuleta has ambition to steal Bellator gold at bantamweight, featherweight and even lightweight in the future, his focus for now is on toppling the dangerous UFC veteran Robbie Peralta at Bellator 201.

“We know he hits hard,” Archuleta said of Peralta. “I’ve had a couple teammates fight him and they were like, ‘Man he’s very heavy-handed, and relies on his power.’ So I’m extremely excited for the matchup. The guy, like you said, he’s a UFC vet.”

“I’m excited for the match up, and I need to be able to showcase my level of competition out there. He is gonna be another stepping stone to make some more noise for myself.”

What do you think the future holds for Juan Archuleta?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/14/2018.


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