Frank “The Crank” Camacho achieved one of his ultimate goals, as he won in mixed martial art’s grandest stage—the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The island warrior from the Marianas, who has come a long way since making his MMA debut more than 10 years ago, defeated hometown bet Damien “Beatdown” Brown via split decision during their lightweight bout in UFC Fight Night 121 held yesterday at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Both fighters gave the audience what they wanted and the explosive duel eventually went to the judge’s scorecards with Kevin Manderson giving the fight to Brown at 29-28, while Chris Aliendi saw it 29-28 for Camacho. Judge Evan Field scored it 30-27, for Camacho, giving the Marianas pride his first UFC win.
The 28-year-old pulled off the win despite almost getting the boot early in the first round when Brown, a known submission fighter, managed to take Camacho down before the former fought out of trouble and chose to destroy his opponent standing up.
It was a wise move on the part of the visiting fighter, as Brown had eight of his 17 wins by submission and only three by knockout against 11 losses. Camacho, on the other hand, won 15 of his 26 fights by KO and three by submission while losing only five—the last was his UFC debut against China’s Jinliang “The Leech” Li.
In his return to UFC’s octagon cage about five months after his bout against Lee, Camacho and his corner had their game plan laid out by avoiding Brown’s attempts to take the fight to the ground—except for that brief period in the first round where the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu brown belter fortunately managed to get out of the jam.
Camacho, since the second of the scheduled five-minute three rounds, took advantage of his stand up fighting skills and pounded away. Although Brown showed that he can clearly take a hit despite receiving a number of Camacho’s power shots, the Aussie was clearly outslugged by his foe.
Camacho managed to open up a cut on Brown’s left eyebrow and below the left eye while the former also received a gash on his left eyebrow as they traded blows in the final stretch of the match. Camacho, who was 5 lbs under the 155-lb weight limit, landed more clean shots, especially in the final round where he pushed Brown to the corner and peppered him with a flurry to the delight of the packed crowd.
Camacho, in a post-fight interview, thanked Brown for an excellent fight. “We gave the fans what they wanted. It was an excellent fight against Brown. I would like to thank him as he took me to another level. He pushed me to the next level.”
He then posted a video on his Facebook page and thanked everyone in the Marianas for their support. “Thank you to everyone that watched and supported me. All the handshakes, pats in the back,
posts, the likes, hashtags, and everything leading up to the fight. I am very honored and humbled for all your love and support. This is just the beginning. Let’s just continue this and continue the momentum. Keep rocking, just remember to never forget where you came from. I will just keep representing our islands,” Camacho said.
He also thanked his coaches, family, friends, wife Sarah, and their son. “I can’t wait to see my boy back home. I love you guys and we’ll continue to fight hard baby.”