Cuki, ‘Crank’ join elite group in BJJ

Posted on Jul 03 2019


New black belt Frank “The Crank” Camacho, left, and Cuki Alvarez, right, are all smiles after receiving their promotional belts from BJJ professor Steve Roberto, center, during a brief ceremony last week at Trench Tech Gym. (Contributed Photo)

Trech Tech founder Cuki Alvarez and UFC veteran Frank “The Crank” Camacho made it to the prime company of Brazilian jiujitsu practitioners in the Marianas after receiving their black belt in a promotion ceremony last week.

Alvarez and Camacho became only the fourth and fifth BJJ artists in the CNMI and Guam to get the coveted belt, which is the fourth highest in the sport’s ranking. They joined the elite group of Jack Bermudes, Clinton Dela Cruz, and William Torres.

“I feel very proud and at the same time very humbled, as this promotion is a testament not only to the hard work and effort that I put into growing the sport in the Northern Marianas, but also the hard work, effort, and interest put by all my members and students, who put in their valuable time in training and learning and allowing me to teach them the arts,” said Alvarez, who along with Camacho, received the promotional belt from no less third degree black belt and BJJ professor Steve Roberto.

More than the belt, Alvarez is pleased with the responsibilities and opportunities that come with the promotion that denotes one’s expert level of technical and practical skills in BJJ.

“As an official black belt under professor Steve Roberto, I also received my official certification and diploma and I can now promote my students to higher ranking belts as they progress forward in their technique and skill sets,” the Trench Tech head said.

“I am stoked to have received such an amazing accolade, as I have been in MMA for over 15 years and training consistently in the Kimono for a little over 7 years,” Alvarez added.

Meanwhile, Camacho considered the promotion as another milestone in his MMA career.

“Receiving the black belt in jiujitsu is very monumental in my MMA career and more so as a lifelong martial artist. Since I started in martial arts, I have had two goals: to fight in the UFC and be BJJ black belt. I am honored beyond honored to receive it alongside longtime training partner Cuki Alvarez at the Trench Tech Gym on Saipan,” said Camacho, who just fought in UFC Fight Night 153 in Sweden and defeated Germany’s Nick “Sergeant” Hein via TKO (punches) in the second round.

Besides Camacho and Alvarez, six other BJJ practitioners on Saipan got their promotional belts.

Ten-year-old Terence San Nicholas, his 13-year-old brother, Taylor, and 11-year-old Phil Simon Gregorio all received yellow belt, while 15-year-old Samuel Alvarez was handed the green belt. In the adults division, Kier Agda earned a blue belt, while Alverick Alvarez received the purple one.

Brazilian Jiujitsu practitioners on Saipan pose for a group photo after the promotion ceremony at the Trench Tech Gym last week. (Contributed Photo)

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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