Cuki: MMA can make the ‘easy transition’ to wrestling

Posted on Aug 23 2022

Frank “The Crank” Camacho, bottom, tries to get out of a choke hold by Brandon Vera in this file photo taken during one of their training sessions in Guam. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Trench Tech Gym founder Justis “Cuki Alvarez said the islands’ mixed martial arts practitioners can easily transition to wrestling if ever the sport is included in future editions of the Pacific Games, Mini Games, or Micronesian Games. 

“It will be a pretty easy transition because we have always trained the basics in wrestling at our gym,” he told Saipan Tribune.

The retired MMA fighter nicknamed “The Cockroach” and “The Janitor” also said that aside from suiting up, local MMA practitioners are also willing to serve in other capacities. 

“We would love to coach and compete and represent the CNMI in wrestling again…I believe the last time CNMI had a wrestling team was way back in 2006, where Frank Camacho took gold, Jose Quan took silver, and I took bronze in our respective divisions,” he said.

In the 2006 Micronesian Games on Saipan, the host CNMI won five of the 42 medals at stake in the wrestling competition.

Palau topped the standings with a 4-1-1 gold-silver-bronze medal haul with Olympian Elgin Loren Elwais ruling the 60kg divisions of the Greco-Roman and freestyle events. Mixed martial arts veteran Frank “The Crank” Camacho won the lone gold medal for the CNMI when he topped the freestyle’s 84-kg division, while Jose Quan settled for the silver behind Palau’s Francis Gibbons in freestyle’s 66-kg weight class. John Lizama (55 kg Greco-Roman and freestyle) and Cuki Alvarez (74 kg freestyle) clinched bronze medals.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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