Nineteen months can seem like a lifetime for many fighters but in that short period of time, Juan Adams went from picking up a contract with the UFC, fighting four times for the promotion and then suffering the disappointment of being cut from the roster.
Breaking the news via social media on 12th February, a reflective Adams was preparing to restock and regroup before making his next move in MMA.
Incredibly, that next move came an hour after announcing his release from the UFC and in the shape of ambitious newcomer, ARES Fighting Championship. When asked about how the quick signing came about, Adams explained that this wasn’t the only offer he’d received.
An hour after I Tweeted about my release their (ARES) matchmaker contacted me with an offer. I had a few other offers, Fury Fighting Championship contacted me about a heavyweight tournament, Bare Knuckle and a few others also contacted me. I was kind of flustered so I just directed everyone to my manager.
Located in Africa and Europe, ARES Fighting Championship is aiming to become a leading MMA contender and is doing so by including former UFC fighters, amongst others, as well as offering a platform to talented African fighters
ARES introduced themselves to the MMA world in December last year with a debut event taking place in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Although he may not be too familiar with the heavyweights already attached to the fledgling promotion, Adams is certainly looked forward to the next stage of his career.
I’m very excited to be on board with ARES, they look to be big player in the not so distant future. I don’t know much about the heavyweight division, my focus is simply on being the best me and letting my team pick my fights now.
Having signed a four-fight contract with ARES, the obvious name to mention regarding the heavyweights is the phenomenon that is Oumar ‘Reug Reug’ Kane. Surely this must be a potential future opponent that springs to mind for Adams?
I wouldn’t call anyone a phenom(enon) off of one pro fight. I don’t think that matchup happens anytime soon. He’s got tons of potential but I’m not into hyping things up before it’s their time. I’m sure our paths will cross at some point, I wish him a long and prosperous career.
Currently standing at 5-3 as a professional, Adams has the skillset and talent to succeed in MMA. Many will expect an immediate impact with ARES but before he embarks on the next journey in his relatively young MMA career, how did Adams find himself signing with one of the sports newest organisations?
After beating Shawn Teed on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and earning a contract with the UFC, things started off promising for the Houston, Texas heavyweight.
However, following a third-round TKO win over Chris de la Rocha on his Octagon debut in December 2018, which took his record to 5-0, Adams suffered consecutive defeats to Arjan Bhullar, Greg Hardy and Justin Tafa.
Just four days after his defeat to Tafa at UFC 247 in his hometown of Houston, Adams broke the news that his time in the UFC had come to an end. But, following his defeat to Tafa, it was the New Zealander who quickly offered words of advice to Adams.
Respect and humility are something that resonate with Juan Adams, despite losing and subsequently being released, Adams confirmed those sentiments when asked about Justin Tafa.
I have nothing but respect for Tafa and his team. I greatly appreciate him as an opponent and as a person. I haven’t really read or seen anything about my last fight due to the focus being on my new signing, but I received a message from Justin the morning after the fight and it was honestly one of the classiest things I’ve ever experienced.
Despite being a humble, respectful and likable individual, everyone has a breaking point, especially when it comes to facing such a polarising and divisive character like Greg Hardy. Adams admitted that his emotions got the better of him but that was seemingly down to the opponent.
It was emotional because I don’t like the guy. I don’t like the way he carries himself, I don’t like the way he acts, I don’t like the way he handled things in the past. But that’s not between me and him anymore, it was a case of me not addressing the root of my own issues and I allowed my emotions to get the better of me and affect my performance. It’s over now and it’s something I’ll never get back.
With a successful stint in ARES, maybe we could see the Jackson Wink man back in the UFC in the not so distant future but for now, Adams is focussing on the task ahead.
My only aim is winning right now and making enough money to support myself and those I care about, I’d love to at least go back and win two more fights so I don’t end that chapter on a losing note but life isn’t always story book endings. I’d love to fight in the Asian market as well.