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Taylor Lapilus believes he is closer to UFC return after ARES FC 1 victory

The Frenchman defeated Marcos Breno by unanimous decision at the promotion’s inaugural event in December.

Taylor Lapilus lands a right hand at ARES FC 1
ARES FC

Once many fighters make it to the biggest promotion in the world, they alternate between wins and losses before being released and walking off into the sunset. Taylor Lapilus is eager to not follow that path by being one of the few who manage to rebuild their career and step inside the octagon for another stint in the UFC.

Lapilus (16-3) made four appearances for the industry leader and went 3-1 in the promotion with victories over Rocky Lee, Yuta Sasaki and Leandro Issa. His sole loss was to Erik Perez but he was still young in his career, so many were surprised when he parted ways with the UFC. Since then, he was won five out of six fights - picking up the TKO bantamweight title in the process. Lapilus most recently competed for the new Afro-European promotion, ARES FC, back in December and emerged victories after a hard-fought victory against Marcos Breno. He believes he is now within touching distance of his ultimate goal.

“Like all fighters, my aim is to get back to the UFC,” explained Lapilus. “I truly think that following my most recent victory, I am closer to returning than ever before. However, I’m not the one who ultimately makes that decision. If that doesn’t happen right away, I want to compete on an ARES FC card in France if they can make that happen. I would be very proud to fight in front of my French audience again.”

The MMA Factory product followed his brother and fellow fighter, Damian, to his BJJ training at 17 years of age and fell in love with the discipline. Later that same year, Lapilus started boxing and then naturally turned to MMA while seeking to become the most complete martial artist he could be. He loves how fluid the sport is and he enjoys displaying this by switching between disciplines within the same round.

However, Lapilus hasn’t been able to compete in his home country for a while because of the MMA ban which has been in place. It was hoped that would be lifted come the turn of the year but the launch was delayed a few months ago. In recent developments, it’s been announced that the French Boxing Commission will oversee the implementation of MMA in the country, so things are looking positive for 2020. The 27-year-old is eager to compete in his home country once again and believes the ban may have actually benefited French fighters.

“My country has always had a lot of talented competitors in martial arts,” stated Lapilus. “Francis Ngannou, Cyril Gane, Salahdine Parnasse and Morgan Charriere are part of the elite. As MMA has got more popular around the world, the standard of the sport and its fighters has improved in France. Moreover, the fact that we could only compete outside of our country made us work way harder.”

Just because the sport is legal doesn’t mean the job is done when it comes to growing MMA in France. That’s where the recently-formed promotion, ARES FC, step in. They aim to cultivate talent and educate fans so an infrastructure is built in the region to appeal to the general sports fan. That way, they can send local talent to the world’s biggest promotions who can then in turn stage their own shows in the markets. Although still very young as an organisation, Lapilus is impressed with ARES FC and can only see positives from their emergence on the scene.

“I think that they are a very professional promotion with big qualities,” discussed Lapilus. “They will allow French fighters and other international talent to compete in France which some of the newer fighters wouldn’t have experienced before. I am pretty sure that this promotion will help the development of MMA in my country.”