‘Regular Guy’ Julio Pena Primed for Lion Fight 29 Bout with Travis Clay

By Mike Sloan May 26, 2016
Julio Pena is one of American muay Thai’s most promising prospects, and his skill set will be on full display Friday night at Lion Fight 29.

The Massachusetts fighter is 4-0 as a pro and he’s been lighting up his opposition like torches inside the Lion Fight ring. The problem is, however, that Pena is already 36 years old and he knows time isn’t on his side in terms of turning his pro fighting career into a million-dollar empire.

But his age doesn’t impede his desire to be one of the best at his weight and to hopefully capture a world title along the way. Pena has scored back-to-back highlight reel knockouts on national TV, and muay Thai fans already want to see the KO artist in against some of the best, though Pena freely admits that he’s not yet at that point.

“I never go into a fight looking for a knockout,” he told Sherdog.com in a recent interview. “I go in there with a game plan and I expect to do well and I do focus a lot on my power, but I never, ever go in there looking for it. I expect each fight to be a five-round battle. I’m still learning this stuff. I’ve been in muay Thai for about 10 years and I still have a long way to go.”

Pena’s modesty is a benefit, as he often forgets that he’s a prominent prospect who’s been in the spotlight a few times already. That helps to negate any would-be pressure thrown his way.

“I’m just a regular guy who gets up and goes to work every day,” he said. “I come home tired and I want to just rest and watch TV. But I also go to the gym every day and I sometimes forget that I actually have some fans. That’s kind of odd and it’s surreal and I often forget about it until it gets close to the fight. I don’t really allow any of that pressure get to me because I just do the best I can. I have nothing to lose, especially at my age, so there isn’t any added pressure to me.”

Pena, who doubles a deputy sheriff in Suffolk County, Mass., will be taking on Travis Clay, who won his Lion fight debut a few months back. Pena knows that he needs to conquer the much younger lion if he’s to stay in line for an eventual chance at a title.

“He’s very talented,” Pena said of his foe. “He has a lot of skills, he’s technical, he’s fast and he looked really good in his Lion Fight debut. I flew out to California for that event and I was able to check him out. He comes from a great camp down in Arizona. We both come to fight so it should be a good one; I look forward to it. May the best man win.”

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