Success in mixed martial arts is defined by fights won, championship belts held and, to a degree, money made. The out-of-cage game that is played by many fighters is something that often falls by the wayside, but the fact is that engaging characters sell tickets and ticket sales are what helps keep the grassroots of the industry alive.

The sport has its fair share of characters. There are the bad-asses (the Diaz brothers), there’s the troll in his purest form (Chael Sonnen, who could talk his way into the Oval Office if the opportunity presented itself), and then, all the way from Australia, there’s “Julz the Jackal,” a performer like no other.

Julian “Julz the Jackal” Rabaud is a man of many words. On the outside, it might seem like it’s all about drinking beers and putting on a performance that entertains the masses. On the inside, however, things are a little more complex.

Rabaud (Facebook.com/julz.jackal.5)

“A lot of people think that I’m a dickhead,” he admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “They are the ones that don’t understand me. Fighting is fucking barbaric, so the more interesting and different that you can make it, the better it is.

“The truth is, I get to go into that cage and I get to do the real talking in there. I don’t need to go out before the fight and talk about what is going to happen. My words are said when that cage door closes. I’m not going to sit in front of a camera and show how I hit a punching bag; I hit that bag every fucking day. I want to give people something different, something that nobody else is going to give them, and I want them to buy the fucking tickets to see what the fight is all about.”

At first glance, it might seem as though Rabaud is pretending to be something that he is not. But he has come a long way from prank calls to potential sponsors and brandishing cans of beer at his weigh-ins. The depth that he has with “The Jackal” offers more of an insight into who he has always been, not who he is perceived to be.

“I’ve always been a clown. Even from a young age. When I was young, people weren’t saying to me, ‘go put some gloves on and bash your neighbor.’ They were saying, ‘Jules do a dance,’ or, ‘Jules, sing a song.’ I’ve always been a performer,” he admitted. “The people that really know me are the ones that call me up after seeing a video and say stuff like, ‘what you did in that clip reminds me of that time in high school on the oval,’ or, ‘that made me think of when we were kids.’ They are the people that I do this for. They are the ones that truly understand what this thing is all about.

“I do get bored easy, so I am really conscience of what I am doing and how people react to it. I don’t want to be forever known as the guy that goes out and has a laugh. For me, it’s about being charismatic. It’s all about showmanship. ‘The Jackal’ is a jack of all trades. He’s like a jack-in-the-box—you never know what to expect and just when you get comfortable, things are going to change.”

For a brief period of time after his last victory, Rabaud deactivated his Facebook profile and seemingly walked off the stage that he had started to build. The speculation had it that he was trying to build drama and make people want to keep hearing about “The Jackal.” The reality, though, was that behind the laughs an addiction had reared its ugly head.

“I was hooked on painkillers,” he confessed. “After I broke my hand, I was hooked in a bad way on the shit. I was going through withdrawals and I was doing some really bad shit. I had really bad anxiety, and it got to the point where I couldn’t leave the house. I had extreme paranoia and I felt that there was just too much pressure for me to be this guy that I had created.

“I’d lost my confidence to fight and I pulled out of a fight in the meantime. I eventually beat it, and I realized that I am my own toughest opponent and if I could get through what I went through, then nobody could scare me and nobody can kill me. My toughest opponent was me, and I won that fight. What I went through was one of the toughest parts of my life and all that stuff that was going on, I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.”

Rabaud cops a lot of criticism for his pre-fight banter, and most of the time it comes from fans or training partners of his opponent. His goal at the end of the day, however, is to create interest and no matter whose feathers he ruffles in the process, Rabaud will still keep doing what he does best.

Rabaud (Facebook.com/julz.jackal.5)

“If I piss the guy off, why does it matter?” Rabaud asked. “He’s going in there to fucking punch me in the head anyway. Everything I do is for my opponent. The higher my profile is, the higher the bounty is for him. I am stacking all my chips right up and I am giving this my all. I see it this way: you have to want to come to my castle, ride your horse on in there, kick me out and then fuck the queen. That’s when he will be the better man. And you know what? Right after that, I will go back and I will build another castle and put everything on the line all over again.”

On July 13, Rabaud fights Chris “Kewl Bonez” Morris for the vacant Nitro MMA bantamweight title. The two have met previously, at Fight World Cup 10, where Morris won as a result of Rabaud not being able to finish the fight due to a broken arm. It’s a rematch that Rabaud has asked for on numerous occasions, and having a title on the line makes the fight all the more interesting.

“That belt means everything to me,” he exclaimed. “I fought in the first fight on the first-ever Nitro, and I was a nobody. I probably shouldn’t have even been on the card. I went out there and I won the fight and I was so happy. I remember going out to the back and seeing Scott [Ferris, Nitro MMA promoter], saying how the fight went and then asking him when I was going to get a title shot. He just said to me that one day I might get one, so I kinda just put it in the back of my mind.

“The next time what I was worried about was getting on the poster. Once that happened, it was a big deal to me. It seems surreal now that I am fighting for a belt after being excited about being on a poster [laughs].

“I’ll probably cry if I win. It will mean everything to me and to my family if I can win this belt. We’ve seriously come from nothing, and for me, it’s like I am Charlie and I have the golden fucking ticket to the chocolate factory. I am going to make the most of it, and I’m sure we will all be emotional after the fight.”

The best kind of character is one that draws directly from the person who is portraying the character. Whilst it may sometimes seem exaggerated and can often cross the line, at the end of the day it’s all Rabaud, and it’s always about being the best entertainer (and fighter) in MMA.

Whether you like what he does or think it’s a disrespectful display that would be better suited to the television screens of a daytime drama, there is one thing you can’t argue with: you are intrigued with whether the man can fight. And that is the exact point when “The Jackal” knows that his job is done.

Julian would like to thank For the Fighter, Australian Sports Nutrition, The Institute of Mens Health, Vince Perry and the team at PUMMA, as well as Evolution Fitness. He would also like to thank his brother, Laythen, who is extremely proud of Julian and is his biggest supporter. Keep up to date with “The Jackal” through Facebook.

Top Photo: Julian Rabaud (Nitro MMA)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.

  • Bretto “The Blessed Brawler”

    Yeah Julz, go hard bro, that belt is gonna look sic with all your other pimpin bling, yeeeew

  • The Cowboy Climax Warrior

    Yeehah!!!

  • mikec2k3

    What a douche!! got KO’ed in 20 seconds!