Jules Bruchez then and now. Photo credits: Spike TV / Amanda Bruchez Stewart

In this feature called “Where are the now?” ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) will seek out, find and interview fighters who were at one time in the public eye but for one reason or another have disappeared into relative obscurity.

A couple of weeks ago I was doing research for an article and came across the name “Jules Bruchez“. He was part of Team Nogueira’s light heavyweights on “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir” (season eight).

He defeated Eric Macgee via first round submission in the elimination round but lost a first round submission to eventual finalist Vinny Magalhaes in the quarterfinals.

He went on to make his UFC and pro MMA debut at the TUF 8 Finale against Team Mir’s Eliot Marshall, but suffered a first round submission loss to “Killa B”.

I was like hmmm, I wonder what happened to Jules Bruchez. We haven’t heard about him in quite awhile. So after a bit of investigative journalism work learned in the Pro MMA Now school of research and development, a day or so later I found myself face to face, actually email to email, with none other than Mr. Bruchez himself.

Interlude: When I first began to ponder the whereabouts of one Jules Bruchez and where a former TUF contestant from Louisiana with the name “Jules” would be, I spent an inordinate amount of time considering the social situation that might arise if “Jules” was actually his last name, and he had a kid and wife and he introduced them at a party and said, “These are the family Jules.” — It then sunk in that “Jules” was his first name and that sort of situation could never happen. Then I thought maybe he actually pronounces his first name “Joo-lays”.

Anyways, back to the situation. So, I tracked down Mr. Bruchez, sent him a bunch of questions and then immediately forgot about the whole thing as UFC 126 rolled around and all my time was spent focusing on that and doing the normal things we do here at the PMN.

In fact, I completely forgot I had even sent Mr. Bruchez the questions until Friday night around midnight the answers actually arrived in my inbox and I was like “Cool, it’s Jules Bruchez.”

Eliot Marchall vs. Jules Bruchez (right)) at the TUF 8 Finale. Photo credit: UFC

Thanks for talking to us at ProMMAnow.com, Jules. What have you been up to since The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 8) and what is life like for you these days?

Well my life sure has changed but all for the good though. Immediately after coming back after the show I got engaged to my girlfriend.

Here is something most people don’t know about me. Before my first fight in the house I did an interview, not sure now if it was with Spike, but it was at the training center.

I told them how I had bought the [engagement] ring before I left for the show, I told them how I planned on proposing to her on TV on the last episode. They all agreed that it would be great TV because no one has done it before and it would show the other side of fighters rather than just the brutal side.

But when it came down to it they backed out.

I am now married to the same beautiful woman and just built our house that we moved into just this new year. After my last fight with Bellator my wife made me choose between her or fighting and she won.

I have been retired ever since but DEEPLY miss it every day. She just couldn’t take the risk and the worry in fighting anymore, it really doesn’t make much sense to me but I love my wife more than fighting.

I am now a teacher and coach at a juvenile detention center for boys and I love working with the kids helping them believe in themselves.

Most people don’t know that I am a certified strength coach and that sometime this month I will be releasing my first book on strength and conditioning for MMA, “How to Train like a Gladiator Vol 1”.

I will be posting it on Facebook so stay tuned. I have been training fighters for awhile now, such as Dustin Poirier and Tim Creduer.

It looks like you’ve only had two fights in the past two years. Is MMA still a big focus for you and would you like to be more active this year?

I had three fights actually but that’s beside the point now. When I returned I became a training animal I teamed up with Tim Credeur and starting training like I never trained before.

I was under contract for awhile with UFC so I couldn’t fight at all. Finally I was released and by that time it was close to my wedding and for years especially on the show I suffered from allergy problems. So I went ahead and had surgery on my nose.

After that I got married took some time off and then came back. So hadn’t had a fight in awhile but I had been training hard. My skill level had improved to even a point where I was even happy with.

My first fight back I had a good three round war and it was exactly what I needed. Later I took a fight where 30 seconds into the fight I threw a kick and broke my leg in half! I knew I did but the hell with it I kept fighting on it anyway until my corner figured it out and threw in the towel.

That was another long layoff so you can begin to see how and why I wasn’t fighting as much as people thought I would be. MMA is always a big focus to me I am always training and always trying to get my wife to change her mind but life is just very different now.

An old training partner of mine is now a promoter he runs the company “USAMMA” and he recently put on a show with Ken Shamrock. I have much respect for Ken but if my wife would let me fight again for one last time I would LOVE to fight KEN SHAMROCK.

People always ask me if I want to go back to Bellator or UFC and of course I would but if you were out of the fight game as long as me you would love to fight for anyone. My dream is to fight in a Vale Tudo fight, to me that is the true test of a man.

You fought for Bellator last year. What was it like fighting for them compared to the UFC and would you fight for them again?

It was very classy, they are a top notch organization with some serious badasses in there stable. It’s hard to compare considering I was fighting in Vegas for UFC.

I would fight for either one of them again. They both are very good organizations. I guess I give the edge to UFC for free gear, money for food and better pay. But that could be unfair also because I fought for both at different times.

Your opponent in that fight was Lamont Stafford, and things didn’t quite go your way. What do you think went wrong and is there anything you could have done differently?

Photo credit: Spike TV

YES! Not take the fight, I don’t make excuses but the truth is I had no business being in that ring.

I rushed into that fight so quick after I had broken my leg, I could not run properly I could do foot work drills properly in my stand up… My shit didn’t work. I took the fight seeing it as my way to make a statement and to make my way back to the top.

I truly felt that I could beat Lamont after doing my research on him I found no threat he could cause me. But I will never forget the feeling back stage before the fight.

I never had felt so unprepared for a fight, I really felt better before my first fight than I did with the Bellator fight. I thought I was just nervous but I was dead wrong.

I couldn’t tell you how many strikes and submissions I didn’t do or pull off mainly because I just couldn’t remember. I could see all the openings but I just couldn’t remember what to do anymore.

I had trained less than two months for that fight and on top of that I had a slight head injury two weeks before the fight. Listen, I take nothing away from Lamont, he gave it his best and deserved what he got.

I always feel that if I had never fought that stupid ass fight I would still be fighting this day because my wife wouldn’t have gotten so nervous.

Do you have any fight planned yet for 2011?

I wish brother, I wish. Keep me in your prayers.

When you think back on your time in The Ultimate Fighter house how do you view that whole experience now and how did it affect your life positively or negatively?

I feel it is up to you to decide if you have a good or bad experience with something. I learned what not to do in certain situations and I learned what to do. It was soooo fun I remember telling Dana how much I loved it.

They could have told me six more weeks and I would have had NO problem with it. I’m not really sure what be considered negative after fighting for the UFC. I fought for the UFC three times and that’s three times more than most fighters in the world.

One thing I learned for sure is don’t go into the UFC after being out of training for eight months due to a severe concussion and expect to keep up with guys who have been training and think that only 12 practices will make up for months of work lost.

I had to make myself understand that I was not ready to be on that show and that I was not who I used to be.

Your very first pro fight was in the UFC. That is just so very rare. Is that something you think about much and are proud of?

Yeah I am so proud of losing in front of millions of viewers. Just joking … or am I? That was a dream come true when I look back on it.

I say when I look back because I didn’t know how much of a big deal that was, I was just so focused on my fighting career at the time. I am proud of it very much so. I did not turn out liked I expected but it was an honor to compete for them.

I would love to make a quick comeback and make my last fight for them. I could put people in the seats they have the ability to push me if they wish. My first fight was with them and I like to make my last fight to be with them.

Listen Joe Silva, “Put me in at the last moment or call me three months out I don’t care. You can set me up as a stepping stone but mark my words I will give a bloody three round war!!!!!!!! A match no one will ever forget.”

Why do you think you were able to make your pro debut in the UFC, when other people fight for years and years and never make it into the Octagon; what do you think set you apart?

Let’s be honest, because I was on the show. Nobody was at their best on the show but we all had the potential to make it. So everyone got a shot unlike seasons before, they saw something in us it was up to us to make it happen.

I feel that I was definitely unprepared compared to some others but I felt I had enough to make it work. But I screwed up and that’s all folks.

What are your goals for 2011 in and/or out of the cage?

My goals for 2011 are:
1. To fight again.
2. To start a family.
3. To be a successful Strength Coach for fighters in all contact sports.
4. To win a major Jits tournament in my division
5. Prove to everyone that “Road House” and “Over The Top” should be considered some of our greatest achievements’ in human history.

Photo credit: Spike TV

Thanks for speaking with us Jules. It was great to catch up with you. Before we let you go, could you leave our readers with some words of wisdom, maybe a favorite quote of yours, or some Jules Bruchez words to live by?

1. Believe in yourself and NEVER give up and NEVER quit dreaming.
2. Your attitude is a mirror reflection of your life accomplishments.
3. Today’s actions will reflect tomorrows results.
4. “Winning isn’t everything… IT”S THE ONLY THING” -Vince L.
5. I eat, break arms, and fight. It’s what I love to do, it’s what I do best.
6. Being number one is everything. There is no second place. Second sucks.
7. Drinking Gas is not a good idea always remember that, but it makes a great joke to pull.

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