LAS VEGAS – Julio Arce is not looking to waste his opportunity against the higher-ranked Song Yadong on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 197.

After being kept out of action for 18 months, Arce (17-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) won his comeback fight in July with a TKO of Andre Ewell. It was his bantamweight debut in the octagon, and now he’ll look to keep the ball rolling against Yadong (16-4-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC), who is a highly touted prospect out of China.

“After being off for a year and a half, I was like, ‘Look, I’m here to come back, and I’m going to come back and I want to fight as much as possible,’” Arce told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 197 media day. “So at least I got two fights in this year, then possibly next year try to get at least three more fights in. But I’m focused on Song right now, who is a tough opponent in front of me and I’m just looking to now really break into these rankings. Look, I’m all in on this. I’m not here to mess around. I’m here to make up for lost time.”

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Arce, 32, said he hopes a win over Yadong, 23, will put him into ranking relevance in the loaded 135-pound division.

He’ll get his chance at UFC Fight Night 197, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+.

To hear more from Arce, check out his complete UFC Fight Night 197 media day interview above.

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