This Saturday, Victorian fighter Joseph Luciano will fight Kaleb Rideout in the main event of Eternal 74 on the Gold Coast for Rideout’s welterweight championship.
This will be Luciano’s ninth professional MMA bout, however he is no stranger to the world of combat sports, having multiple amateur muay thai fights, along with an estimated 30+ amateur MMA fights.
This wealth of experience in the amateur scene has been a great benefit to his professional career, Luciano said.
‘What differentiates me from a lot of guys is I’ve been doing this sport for a long time, my skill development has been constant because I’m constantly working on myself.’
Many of these amateur fights were at IMMAF championship tournaments, where Luciano is a multi-time medalist, including gold at both the Oceana and Africa championships.
‘As with most things, varieties a bit of the spice of life. You never know what’s going to happen, that’s set me up for my pro career where you can be a little more specific with your prep for your opponent…It’s taken the edge off for the pro fights, I went into the stuff overseas, the IMMAF, or even the local amateur shows where the fights change rapidly, so you don’t know what to prepare for and you focus on your game. Taking that into the pro ranks I’m established with how I fight, and I can tweak a few little things for the upcoming opponent.’ Luciano said.
When switching from purely striking to MMA, Luciano was not interested in jiu jitsu at all, he said.
‘I only ever wanted to fight K-1 and muay thai. I got into MMA and, long story short, I didn’t really like Jiu Jitsu at all. Wrestling was the bridge for me between the striking and the grappling, because you can kinda hit people when you’re wrestling.’
Despite this, four of Luciano’s five stoppage victories are by way of submission, with his full professional record reading 7-1.
This irony is not lost on Luciano.
‘I’ve got four subs and I’m still saying I’m not a jits guy but it turns out maybe I am. Let’s call it submission grappling, I don’t wanna be called a jiu jitsu guy.’ He said.
This bout will be Luciano’s first professional championship fight, and he says he is focusing on keeping calm until fight day.
‘I’m very much a fighter’s fighter, I don’t really care about the politics of it. Get me a fight, I don’t care who it is.’
‘The difficulty with fight sports is, it’s not playing footy. You risk your health in there, so take it seriously or don’t do it at all…The only pressure out there is the pressure I put on myself, which is immense no matter what I’m doing, that’s not a burden that I struggle to bare. Due to the nature of it being a five round fight that changes how we go about training…apart from that it’s day in day out, grind every day.’
Eternal 74 takes place in Southport on the Gold Coast and will be broadcast live on the UFC FightPass at 9pm AEST on Saturday March 18th.