When you watch Julius Anglickas fight, the hair on the back of your neck spikes up. Everything about the guy is pure athleticism and intensity. He’s a complete warrior, with more muscle than a pit bull. He may be from Lithuania, but he’s also from a little old town called Southampton. “I came to Southampton from Lithuania when I was 14. I thought it was just going to be for a visit to see my parents, but they decided that I should stay. I started freshman year at Southampton High School. When I first got to Southampton I could not speak English but I understood a lot. I also really wanted to learn it so I picked it up really quickly. I had no choice but to learn it.”
Last October, Julius competed for the light heavyweight title belt for Bellator MMA, a professional fighting organization that is second to the UFC. Julius stands at 6’3” and weighs 204 lbs. He fought against Russian opponent Vadim Nemkov, who got the best of him in a fourth-round submission at Bellator 268 in Phoenix. Prior to that, Julius had never lost a fight. “I think I needed that loss to get me angry again and to get me focused again. I’m glad about this loss in a way because I’m saying to myself every day to do more. I think it was much needed to slap me in the face and get back to work. The belt is always in my vision. I know that if I get the belt, I might say to myself that I’m done. I’m certainly not done.”
But just how the heck did a guy from Lithuania, then Southampton, end up as an internationally ranked professional fighter? The answer lies in his love and dedication to one on one competitions and his love for training. Julius was an avid wrestler at Southampton high school and then wrestled in college in St. Louis. “I really enjoyed the one-on-one competitions. It made life so much more interesting, to look forward to the competition. With one on one competition, a loss is so much more personal and a win is so much sweeter. With a team loss, you can always blame something else.”
“After college, I started getting into mixed martial arts and it felt very natural and I started to really get into it, and people around me told me I was good enough to compete professionally. Everywhere you went there were all of these fighting gyms, so when wrestling ended, I got into a gym and while I was doing it, the word got around that I was getting really good and I kept finding myself in amateur fights.”
At the beginning of his career, all of his amateur fights didn’t pay very much and it was about street credit. Julius would promote any amateur fight he found himself in using social media and telling friends, and he kept winning. Not only was he winning, he was dominating the fights. Bigger fights started to come in and once that started happening, he was able to turn fighting not into his passion, but into his profession. “I’m doing this full time and it’s what I do for a living. I got very lucky working with Bellator.”
What does a professional fighter’s day look like? Well, it’s pretty simple, you wake up, you eat, you train, you sleep, you train and then you go back to sleep. Julius trains twice a day, morning and evening, and he also lifts weights to get stronger. “Sometimes I get caught up in the moment with how dedicated I am to the sport. Like I’ll stand around and say to myself whoa, I don’t do anything else other than this. But for me, it’s just natural. I like working out, I like training and I like the sport. I haven’t had any burnouts.”
Whenever Julius heads home to visit his parents, who reside in Water Mill, he always makes sure to train at Hill Street boxing with Avery Crocker, who founded the gym and manages it. When an athlete like Julius shows up, all of the kids and staff look for pictures and selfies to take. A hometown hero indeed, but the road to the top is filled with a lot, really an inconceivable amount, of hard work and dedication. Keep your eye out for Julius and his career, he’s a modern-day gladiator.