The rays from the unforgiving sun shine down in Gold Coast, Queensland. It’s another hot summer’s day. The heat isn’t as blistering as it had been this summer, but it is pretty close. The streets are littered with the tanned bodies of people wearing sunglasses, shorts and flip-flops. With the blue skies and the palm trees making up the skyline, it’s no wonder they call this place Surfers Paradise.

As Julian “Julz the Jackal” Rabaud gears up to give another client a stylish grooming, his phone begins to ring. He looks down at it, realizing that his true calling in life is coaxing him to answer. It’s that epic battle between day job and catering to the everyday comings and goings of no longer being just another face in the crowd.

It’s the life of a fighter.

“It’s hot up here, man. It’s piping fucking hot,” Rabaud exclaimed as he took a step outside the barbershop that he calls an office each and every day. “I’m standing here, sweating, and all I can think about is getting to the gym and getting some hard fucken work in.

“I have my title defense coming up, and I know I’ve said this before, but to me, you aren’t a real champion until you defend that belt. And I think that’s so true. They are the words that I live by. It’s a beautiful truth right there. I put everything from the last six years into getting that belt. I’m not settled, though. I’ll never be settled with just having the belt. I have to work harder now more than ever. I’m not gonna give up this belt. It isn’t gonna happen, and I am not gonna let it get taken away from me.”

The belt Rabaud is referring to is the Nitro bantamweight title, and the champ’s much-anticipated return to the Nitro cage comes on March 8 when he faces Tiger Muay Thai prospect Ben Nguyen. Making the move up to 135 pounds for this fight, Nguyen, who typically competes in the flyweight division, will certainly have the speed advantage over Rabaud.

“I know that he’s a quick guy, and I do think that he’s gonna be too fast for me,” Rabaud admitted. “He’s gonna be too fast for most guys at our weight. Can I catch him? Yes, I can. I might be hitting air a few times, but I tell you this, I’m gonna fucken land one and it’s gonna put him to sleep. And if it doesn’t put him to sleep, I know it’s gonna sure as hell hurt him, and then I will jump on that and put him to sleep. I don’t believe in this rhythmic fucking karate shit. I throw bombs, and when they land they blow up. For me, it’s been about power, power, power. He might be fast, slick and quick, but I’ve fought guys like that before. You run and I am gonna fucking chase ya, and when I catch ya, it’s all over.

“I’m gonna land the shot. I’m gonna be patient and I am gonna fight smart. You can’t stop them all. And I will keep going forward. I don’t care about being hit. It doesn’t bother me. I have a head on me like a fucking brick wall and I’ll just keep taking them till I can land one. In my gym, I can’t train with 60 kilo guys anymore—I kept on accidentally hurting people. I train with some big guys at the gym and, yeah, they all laugh and joke about it, but every day I am getting hit by these guys that outweigh me, and every day I keep hitting back.”

With his charismatic, outgoing personality, Rabaud has been able to win fans all over the globe. With each new fight and each entertaining lead-up that goes with it, more and more people are invited into his mind. With the new fans, though, there also comes the polar opposite. Like anybody who is often in the public eye, Rabaud has his fair share of “haters.”

“I’m not that surprised,” Rabaud said, “I am very thankful for the support and the work that people put in, and I am happy that people can post on Facebook about how inspirational I am. With it, though, I have found that I’ve got some haters out there too. I have a group that are out there saying that I am homophobic and all this other rubbish. It’s fucking crazy. One of my dearest friends is a lesbian, and I cornered her just recently in her fight. The thing is that I was with this chick and she was fucking insane. You know, the ‘Jackal’ is a pretty wild guy and he keeps it pretty wild in the bedroom too, but this chick was fucking nuts.

“She has gone out with her friends to try and ruin me and spread all this shit about me. I know what I have done in life and I know what I am about, and I don’t need these people trying to go out and think they are gonna fuck shit up. It doesn’t matter what they do or what they say, I know the truth. Things happened and I ended up being the one that got a DVO [domestic violence order] put out on her. She attacked me and I restrained her, which left her with bruises. She took photos of them, which she continues to bring up on social media. It’s hard when you know the truth and you have these people trying to bring you down, but I am over that part of my life and I am ready to move on.”

Like just about anything in life, mixed martial arts is centered in the development and continued evolution required in order to be successful. Rabaud not only adheres to this inside the gym, but also outside of the gym. With every fight, the character that is “Julz the Jackal” evolves. He prides himself on always being able to bring something new to the table.

“Someone will say to me, ‘Jackal, I’ve finished my apprenticeship.’ And you know what I say? I say that you’re a fucken apprentice every day of your life, and that’s how I look at things,” he exclaimed. “Every fight, I’m a different man. I’m always changing and I am always gonna keep people guessing. I wake up in the morning and I don’t even know who I’m gonna be. [Nguyen] doesn’t know who he is fighting at Nitro. Hell, I don’t even know who I’ll be that day.

“I know my art. I know my game. People go out and they mistake my confidence for arrogance. I’m not arrogant. I am respectful to my opponent. Yeah, I like to have a laugh and I like to have a bit of fun, that’s just how it is. I know that there is a job to be done and at Nitro I am gonna do it. [Nguyen] is probably out there now knowing exactly how he thinks he’s gonna beat me, and he’s probably right. The way that he thinks he can beat me would be the best way to take my belt, but I’ll tell him this much: I ain’t gonna fucken let him.”

As the sun starts to settle and the breeze begins to flow in with the cool afternoon air, the working hours of the day have come to an end. The shop door closes and Rabaud packs his things away. His second love is about to get its share of his time and effort. As his feet hit the sidewalk, his pace quickens. A steady walk turns into a run. That’s “The Jackal.” He never rests.

Julian would like to thank Ricky and Empire Mixed Martial Arts, 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.

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.

  • joey joe joe

    jeez neil, this is a poorly written article. a skyline of blue skies etc? sort it out mate.

  • Farter

    You just got the crap kicked out of you in 10 seconds…dont quit your day job!