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Boxing, ONE Championship vet Ana Julaton keeping open all options, including 'TUF 26'

Ana Julaton

Boxing standout and MMA fighter Ana Julaton might be there on Tuesday when the UFC opens tryouts for Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Or, she might not. All signs seem to point to her giving it a run, though officially, during a visit to MMAjunkie Radio on Thursday, mum’s the word.

“I’m keeping my options open,” Julaton said. “… Nothing is sketched in stone. I’m being very steady at the gym. There are a lot of opportunities, and I think it’s great to be a woman in the fight game at 125 pounds.”

The UFC has “TUF 26” tryouts for women’s flyweights on Tuesday in Las Vegas, where Julaton currently is based and training. The longtime boxer has four fights on her MMA resume, all under the ONE Championship banner, where she’s 2-2.

The chance to get into the UFC through “TUF” and possibly become the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion is appealing, even if she won’t say officially that she’ll be at the tryouts.

Having never had that type of experience, Julaton admitted she’s “not a people person.” And let’s face it – non-people people have had a rough time while isolated in the “TUF” house in past seasons.

Coming from the world of boxing, the transition to MMA wasn’t an easy one for Julaton. For so long, she was just in one realm. She found out MMA wasn’t like flipping a switch.

“I was just strictly focused on boxing,” she said. “It’s a completely different attitude, and when jumped into MMA, it’s a completely different world, as well. Even though I have a background in martial arts, … in the sport of MMA, just because you know it doesn’t mean you can just apply it right away. You need to put in the time.”

Julaton hasn’t fought since a December 2015 decision loss for ONE Championship, but in the meantime the MMA training has ramped up. And whether it’s the UFC through “TUF,” or the potential to fight for Bellator’s new women’s flyweight division, she believes there will be chances for her to go places.

“There are a lot of opportunities out there on the horizon,” she said. “… I’ve been doing a lot of cross-training, and it’s taking me back to my roots. Being able to step away from both sports and see where I’m at mentally, physically and emotionally, it just opened up my eyes and I went back to my roots.

“Whatever opportunity is there, absolutely. I feel like I’ve given a lot of myself through combat sports, and (MMA is) the direction I’d like to get into.”

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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