‘Crank’ relishing UFC experience


Frank “The Crank” Camacho flexes his muscles during the weigh-in before his UFC debut against Jingliang Li in June this year in Singapore. Camacho is now in Australia to face the Land Down Under’s Damien Brown. (Contributed Photo)

Frank “The Crank” Camacho will be entering the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon for the second time this year, but still show the same energy and enthusiasm when he had his MMA debut and took on Bernie Neth in the inaugural Trench Warz event on Saipan more than a decade ago.

“I still do get nervous but over the years I continue to learn how to channel it in a positive way. Nerves are good. They keep you sharp. We’re [Team Crank] ready to rock and roll and showcase what the Marianas have in the Land Down Under.”

The 28-year-old will take on Australian Damien Brown (17-10, 2-2 UFC; 3 knockouts) tomorrow at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia for the fourth featured match in UFC Fight Night 121 Werdum v.s. Tybura. The event will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Camacho (20-5, 0-1 UFC; 15 KOs), in an email to Saipan Tribune said he has mixed emotions entering the fight but has learned how to control and channel his feelings. “I’m super anxious and excited.”

Camacho, who arrived in New South Wales’ capital with Team Crank last Tuesday and had already acclimated to Sydney’s below 70°F weather, added that mental preparation is also part of his training before each fight.

He is seeking a first UFC win and hopes to follow the footsteps of the CNMI’s Anthony Torres, who was the first fighter from the Marianas to make it to the big stage of MMA. Torres (5-3, 2 KOs), who was born and raised on Saipan, is now based in Hawaii. Torres made his debut against Pat Healy in the undercard bout of UFC Fight Night 6 on Aug. 17, 2006 at the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. He won by rear-naked-choke submission with 2:37 in the first round.

Camacho, on the other hand, achieved his dream of fighting in the UFC when he became the last-minute opponent of Jingliang Li (13-4, 4 KOs), replacing the Chinese MMA fighter’s original opponent Jonathan Meunier of Canada (8-1). Camacho lost by decision against Li in the UFC Fight Night 111 last June 17 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, but their duel was chosen as Fight of the Night, giving each fighter $50,000.

Trench Tech promoter Cuki Alvarez, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt and Purebred BJJ-Guam owner Steve Roberto, and MMA pioneer and Spike 22 owner Melchor Manibusan will be at Camacho’s corner when he takes on Brown.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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