Billy Quarantillo (12-2) has been fighting professionally since 2013 and even got on season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter back in 2015. He fought on Dana White’s Contender Series this past summer and his life in the fight game rather mirrors the fight that got him his UFC contract last July. He weathered the storm in the first round, found his stride in the second round, and went after a victory in the final round. Quarantillo in his 14-fight career will be making his UFC debut in Washington D.C. December 7 on UFC on ESPN 7 against Chris Fishgold (18-3-1), and the 30-year-old Gracie Tampa South fighter could not be more excited to get going.
Quarantillo fights out of Tampa, Florida now but he’s from Buffalo, New York. New York was not always friendly to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) so for Quarantillo to pursue his passion for training and competition, he knew he had to go somewhere where he could all in on MMA. “So I basically I grew up in Buffalo New York a little small town called Lewiston,” Quarantillo told the Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, “I got my associates degree, but when I was when I was getting my associates degree I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after.” He said that he began training as he was working on his degree. He knew he needed to finish the degree but his passion building for the life of a professional martial artist he said, “After my associates, I wanted to get out of town.”
“In my first amateur fight I met Rob Kahn from Gracie Tampa,” Quarantillo said and after hearing so many good things about him, he moved to Tampa. After the move, he said, “I ended up just finding Matt Arroyo and Rob Kahn and all these guys at Gracie Tampa South and I basically decided to stop going to school basically put my school on hold, and come out here and train full-time.”
Moving to follow a passion is always a risky move but for Quarantillo it seems the payoff was always looming. With his time on The Ultimate Fighter, he felt it was a rite of passage that cemented in his own mind he was making the correct choice. “To get in the UFC, everyone should have to do a season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ because it will change you,” Quarantillo said about his time on the show. He said he saw the six weeks doing the show as a test that would eventually make or break some fighters.
If losses are lessons, Quarantillo took what he learned from his time there and fought his way back in front of Dana White to get in the UFC and with the current drive he has, he looks to pull off a victory in December.
Oddly enough, Quarantillo has no nickname. He feels it has to be earned, maybe “No Quit” Quarantillo has a nice ring to it.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel