On March 5, UFC signed bantamweight prospect Julia Avila (6-1) to a four-fight deal.
In her last seven fights, Avila has only one loss, which was due to a finger dislocation that delivered a level of grotesque not seen since Jon Jones’s foot after his Chael Sonnen fight.
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Avila is coming off a TKO victory over Alexa Conners at Invicta FC 32 and has a notable win over former inaugural UFC flyweight champion, Nicco Montano. Her fights are a confluence of intense pressure and dynamic striking, putting together intense combinations and powerful knees and elbows.
She was a stand out athlete in volleyball, soccer, and track & field, resulting in her being a finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.
Avila fights out of Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy, in Oklahoma City where she also maintains a job as a Geological Technician at an oil company.
There’s some interesting parallelism between Avila’s day job and her moonlighting as a professional cage fighter. Both require a unique form of exploration and discovery. The only difference is one is looking for hydrocarbon and the other is looking for the right place for a fist to land on a face.
The Raging Panda will bring a fresh shock to the UFC bantamweight division and could find a title fight soon given Amanda Nunes’s dispatching of the current contenders. After Avila’s last fight she called out then Invicta FC Bantamweight title holder Sarah Kaufman, so it’s clear that she is ready to take a shot at the top.
Ahmad Tahriri is a Contributing Writer at The Body Lock.