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With the postponement of a majority of mixed martial arts events and workers being advised to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic, this could prove to be a difficult time for professional fighters—many of whom hold down jobs outside the cage. Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight Julio Arce considers himself one of the fortunate, as he runs a Team Tiger Schulmann affiliate in Queens, New York. However, the gym has closed temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Thank God I have the right people around me, so I was guided in the right direction in what to do with my finances,” Arce told Sherdog.com, “whether it’s with the UFC or with running our school in Bayside, Queens. We make sure that everything is set, because when the times like this hit, we’re all in shape for a fight, figuratively speaking. We are in shape for a fight and have nothing that’s going to be super detrimental to us, although it sucks because we can’t go in and teach and do what we want to do. We made sure we were prepared for times like these.”
In this exclusive interview with Sherdog, Arce touched on the steps the Team Tiger Schulmann machine has taken to offer classes to students at home, his most recent appearance inside the Octagon at UFC 244, his decision to seek help from a sports psychologist and the process of finding a new management home.