There seems to be a natural progression for fighters who compete in Ring of Combat: win the title, defend the title, move on to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Current ROC bantamweight champion Julio Arce hopes this trend continues for him. Arce holds an undefeated professional record of 5-0. He also went undefeated as an amateur, including a decision victory over The Ultimate Fighter alum Anthony “Shark Bait” Gutierrez. Training out of Team Tiger Schulmann in New Jersey, Arce embraces the grind, with three of his professional victories coming by decision, one by submission and one by TKO.

Recently, Arce joined The MMA Corner staff writer Jason Schielke via Skype to discuss is upcoming title bout. The video interview can be viewed at the top of this post. Since the interview, Arce had a change in opponents and will now defend his title against Jonathan de Jesus. When The MMA Corner reached out to Ring of Combat about the change of opponent, Director of Public Relations Frank Vallejo stated that the fight coordinator said Arce’s original opponent “was only approved pending a win in a fight he had a few weeks ago. He won, but was injured in his win, so [he] had to be replaced.”

Ring of Combat 48 takes place on May 16 at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. The following bouts will round out a card that features five national title bouts and one regional championship contest:

Brenden Barrett vs. Justin Woods
Chris Wade vs. Frankie Perez
Andre Harrison vs. Neil Johnson
Matt Rizzo vs. Jimmy Grant
James Jenkins vs. Terrell Hobbs
Steve Tyrrell vs. Randy Brown
Leodegario Muniz vs Merab Dvalishvili
Mike Andrillo vs. Mike Elshamy
Gregor Gillespie vs. Brandon Priest
Max Bohanan vs. Dan Corchado
Armin Mrkanovic vs. Brian Booth
Chris Sladky vs. Somner Martin