Saipan's Frank “The Crank” Camacho will be one of 32 Mixed Martial Artists featured in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Fridays 16 reality television series.
The series' special 2-hour premier will air on cable's FX channel on Sept. 14 at 9pm ET/PT. The show will run for 13 consecutive weeks on Fridays at 10pm ET/PT.
The winner will be announced in a live telecast on Dec. 15 in Las Vegas and will receive a six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighter Championship organization.
The premier features 16 elimination bouts and will have 29 Americans, two Canadians and one Brazilian, ranging from ages 22 to 34, competing for the top prize.
Fighters will be divided into two teams, which will be coached by former UFC heavyweight champion Shane Carwin and top contender Roy Nelson. The pair will then be pitted against each other in the season finale.
Camacho and the other 31 finalists were selected from a pool of over 60 invited fighters.
“The Crank” claims a MMA record of 13 wins with two losses and fights under Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Lloyd Irvin at his MMA Academy located in Camp Springs, Maryland. Sherdog.com, however, lists Camacho's record at 10-2.
In an email to Saipan Tribune yesterday, Camacho said he is excited about the opportunity and is dedicating his stint in the TUF series to the people of the Marianas.
“The culture and people of Saipan, Guam, Tinian, and Luta are all a part of this journey that I am on so don't think I'm alone on this one, win, lose, or draw I'm going out there to be the best representative of our islands. Plain and simple 'home' is what drives me and I am so thankful for all of the support I am getting from everyone,” Camacho said.
Camacho also sent out thanks to a long list of family members and friends, especially to his dad (Francisco), mom (Marcia) and sister (Leslie).
Notably, “The Crank” has two good friends-George “Loaded” Lockhart (10-4) and Colton Smith (3-1)-also competing in the series.
Lockhart is a former marine and works as a nutritionist for Lloyd Irvin's MMMA academy, while Smith has trained along side Camacho in the past.
According to Ultimatefighter.com, many of today's most recognizable MMA fighters, including Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian, Forrest Griffin, and Steven Bonnar, have materialized from the TUF series.