‘Crank’ eyes strong finish


Frank “The Crank” Camacho spars with a fellow MMA fighter during a training session at Team Oyama Gym in Irvine, California last August. (Contributed Photo)

Frank “The Crank” Camacho is back on island and will be continuing his training in Guam to get ready for the last fight in his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Camacho, who came home yesterday from California, said he decided to return to Guam as his camp has yet to get confirmation about getting a rebook fight with UFC. The Marianas warrior was supposed to see action in the UFC Fight Night 177 in Las Vegas last month, but was pulled out from the fight card after he was tested positive for COVID-19 just a few days before his Sept. 12 bout against Brok “Chata Tuska” Weaver.

“As soon as we get a word on my next fight, I will head back to California for another training camp, I hope to get something close to between four and six weeks of fight camp before the fight. I am hoping to get back to the cage later this year, get that second win after I won against COVID and finish strong,” Camacho said.

Frank “The Crank” Camacho, front row second left, poses with other Team Oyama fighters after their training session. (Contributed Photo)

The 31-year-old tested negative for COVID-19 last Sept. 24 and returned to Team Oyama gym in Irvine to get back to form. He worked out with his fellow Team Oyama fighters for a few week weeks while waiting for a call from UFC and his managing company, Iridium Sports Agency. It is unlikely that Camacho will get an early rebook, as UFC will have its next five events in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and the Marianas fighter prefers to compete in Las Vegas.

“I am just glad that I am back home with my family and COVID-19 free. For now, I will keep up with my training here in Guam and work on my form,” Camacho said.

Battle of the Warriors Part 2
If given a chance, Camacho would still want to face Weaver, whose nickname means “Choctaw warrior.”

“It would really be interesting to have that Warrior vs Warrior fight. I am not sure what’s the latest update on Brok, if he sustained an injury or not from his previous fight. I just hope we can work something out and finally have that battle of the warriors,” Camacho said.

In this file photo, Frank “The Crank” Camacho trains in Guam. He is back on island and will prepare for his last fight this year. (Contributed Photo)

With Camacho out of the picture in last month’s UFC Fight Night 177, Jalin Turner took his spot and the last-minute replacement fighter forced Weaver to submission (rear-naked choke) at the 4:20 mark of the second round. Turner dominated the bout, punishing Weaver with a combination of kicks and punches to the latter’s face and body before going for a killer left hook that brought the Alabama native down and allowed the former to finish the bout on the ground.

If the Camacho-Weaver duel pushes through, the fight would still be considered as redemption for the two warriors, as they are coming off losing streaks. Weaver suffered back-to-back losses, as before bowing to Turner, he was also beaten by Roosevelt Roberts, incidentally via rear-naked chose, too in the second round (3:26) in UFC on ESPN 9 last May. Weaver has a 1-2 record in UFC, winning his debut in February after his foe, Rodrigo Vargas, as disqualified due to an illegal kick early in the first round.

Camacho, on the other hand, holds a 2-5 mark in the UFC and also dropped his last two matches (against Beneil Dariush and Justin Jaynes). Overall, the Team Oyama standout owns a 22-9 card, with 17 of his victories by TKO/KO.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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