Walking through Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia, there is a hidden little gem for all your grooming needs. Through the window you will see a gentleman type, standing over a client, doing his best to finish his work of art. It’s a clever combination of class and style, and it’s at the hands of Julian “Julz the Jackal” Rabaud.

With his shears in his hands, his apron covering his slacks and his head-to-toe tattoos, Julz doesn’t look like the type to slip on a pair of fingerless gloves with the intention of doing battle, and at a guess you’d put him in the high 70 kilo range as far as weight goes.

There’s a smile as he shows his client their new look. A laugh and a photo follow. Everybody’s favorite haircut technician. That’s one of the many faces of Rabaud, and it’s not until you get him riled up about the old-school art of fighting that you are introduced to what “The Jackal” is really about.

“I’m the heavyweight of bantamweights,” Rabaud exclaimed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I cut 20 kilos [44 pounds] to make weight. I don’t do it because I wanna be the guy with the biggest muscles in there, I do it because I can and I have to. Look at my size, I’m short and I have short limbs, so I use it to be able to work over my opponent.

“I don’t do it to be a fuckin’ bully; I do it because that’s what needs to be done. I’m not a freak of nature or anything like that. Guys in this division are all about speed and being able to get around quickly. Those guys might be hard to catch, but I’ll tell ya what: if you are, I better not fuckin’ catch ya because it’ll be fuckin over.”

Leading into his last bout, Rabaud was faced with the biggest fight of his career, a rematch against Chris Morris for the Nitro bantamweight title. When he won in highlight-reel fashion, Rabaud was at a point where things just couldn’t be better. In front of him, the favorite combat sports “rags to riches” style story was unfolding.

“When I said that it was gonna change my life, I wasn’t lying. That belt means everything to me,” he admitted. “Now I just wanna go out and show that I am the best at what I do and that nobody can beat me. I wanna show where I have come from and what people can do. I came from the mean streets of Logan and Woodridge, and now I’m livin’ in Surfers Paradise on the fuckin’ Gold Coast. I came from nothin’ and I’m here. All it takes is a little bit of belief and some hard work.”

The pre-fight experience that is “Julz the Jackal” is like no other. Rabaud is often criticized by rival camps and supporters for being disrespectful and not taking his craft seriously. For Rabaud, though, it’s quite the opposite. Whilst he may come off as a “mouth,” the words are what make perfect sense.

“I’ve said it before. It’s a fight that we are going into. We are going in there to beat each other up, so why not make it interesting?” Rabaud explained.“Whenever you fight me, I’m putting it all on the table. I’m putting my gold watch, my cash and my fuckin’ baby rattle and I’m throwing it all on the stack.

“I’m going in there to knock your fuckin’ head off. The fight business doesn’t exist anymore. It’s long gone, and it’s all about the show business now. It’s all about going out there and putting on the best show that you can. That’s what I am about. It’s not only about skills that you train either. It’s charisma versus charisma, character versus character, and you can guarantee that I’m bringin’ it every fuckin’ day of the week with everything that I do. Inside that cage, I wanna beat you at everything. I wanna go in and fuck you up.”

Recently, Rabaud took to social media in order to drum up an opponent for Nitro 11, which is due to be held on March 8. He called out Richie “Vas” Vaculik, who competed on the UFC Fight Night 33 card in Brisbane. Rabaud wasn’t shying away from the opportunity to take on a big name inside the cage, and with Vaculik suffering a loss in his debut inside the Octagon, Rabaud has seen it as a perfect opportunity to give him a homecoming back on the Australian circuit.

“I’ll go to his house, knock on his door, pull him out of bed and drag his ass to the cage to fight me,” Rabaud said. “He said that he wanted to fight me a few months ago after I won the Nitro title, and I saw it there on Facebook and I smiled. I took some time off, I went overseas and came back and started up ‘Penny Lane Ladies and Gents,’ which everybody knows about, and then, now, when I’m ready to go, he’s signed to another company. If he’s free to fight after his loss, then I want him, but if not, I’ll take fuckin’ anybody. I’ve asked for fights and people have knocked them back. Give me the best fuckin’ guy that’s out there and I’ll take him on. [Vaculik] got his shot in the UFC, and you know what? I’m the real fucking shot. I’m the one he should be fighting.

“When you look at it, I’m a nobody really. I’m just a guy that’s lookin’ to put on a fight. It’s nothing personal against Vas. It’s business. As a fighter, I’m a business, and I’m lookin’ to take care of my business inside that cage. Get me someone from America. Get me whoever anybody thinks is the best fuckin’ bantamweight in the country, I don’t care. I’ve called him out because people reckon he’s the best and because he lost to an American in Australia. That’s bloody outrageous! People reckon he’s a true Aussie hero? Well, that’s me too. I’m the real fuckin’ hero. Let’s put us both in the cage and see who the better man is.”

When the doors of “Penny Lane Ladies and Gents” close after a long day of trade, you will see the transition in Rabaud. Gone is the apron. The shears are placed to the side, and life becomes all about the fight and how to sell it.

The selling of a fight and the “talking of the talk” may not be everybody’s idea of entertainment. However, you can’t argue that when a fighter can back it up with “walking the walk,” it does make things all the more exciting. Whether Rabaud gets his fight with Vaculik or not, you can be left with no doubt that no matter the opponent, Rabaud will make you want to see the fight, because, after all, selling haircuts and selling fights are his specialty.

Julian would like to thank Ricky and Empire Fitness, Jared and JIF Fitness, Jamie Thompson and Pro Screen, Vince Perry and PUMMA, Adam from Adzon, Nicholas Grant from Rectangle Images, Sly, D.E Collective, Dazza from For The Fighter Burleigh, his Lady, his family and all of his followers and The Beard Alliance.

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.