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South grad Julia Avila's MMA start in Bakersfield turns into UFC career

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 18:28:45-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — South High grad Julia Avila recently made her UFC debut in Las Vegas grabbing a unanimous decision win. And it was here in Bakersfield where Avila began her MMA career training with Eric Nolan at his gym, Eric Nolan's Xtreme Training Center.

It taken Nolan long, who has trained many successful fighters to hail from Bakersfield to realize that Avila could find success in the professional fighting world.

"Her work ethic is really beyond anything. Julia will go out and run 20-30 miles because she feels like it not because there's a competition or there's this or that, she's one of the most dedicated athletes that I've ever met," Nolan said.

He also reflected on how Avila earned herself the nickname of 'Raging Panda' as one of the nicest people off the mat but an animal when she enters the octagon.

"She's as lovely a human being as you're going to meet and she hits as hard as any girl you're gonna meet and a chunk of the guys, so she's awesome."

Avila signed a four fight contract with the UFC back in March and she continues to balance her career as a geologist by day, fighter by night.