Pressure is on for ‘Crank’ in UFC 228


The tale of the tape in the welterweight bout between Frank “The Crank” Camacho and Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal in UFC 228: Woodley vs Till. Camacho will meet Neal this weekend in Dallas, Texas. (UFC Photo)

Pressure heats up as Frank “The Crank” Camacho enters the fight week of his highly-anticipated bout against Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal in UFC 228: Woodley vs Till.

“We are officially in UFC 228 fight week. Weight is good and I am feeling great! I am being very proactive with acclimating to the time zone and getting over the jet lag,” said the Marianas pride, who arrived in Dallas, Texas last Sunday (Monday on Saipan).

Camacho will face Neal on Sept. 8 (Sept. 9 Saipan time) at the American Airlines Center with the former pressed to win, as the bout is the last in his four-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“There is always pressure going into every fight. I would be lying if I said there is no pressure. But using that and channeling it to be positive is what counts—to go out there and perform to the best of my ability,” said Camacho, who is hoping to improve his 21-6-0 win-loss-draw record and get his second UFC win.

The 29-year-old debuted in UFC last year and earned a Fight of the Night tag in his loss to China’s Lingliang Li. Camacho went on to get Fight of the Night honors in his next two appearances in UFC stage and post a 1-1 mark. He won over Damien Brown (split decision) in UFC Fight Night 121 in November 2017 in Australia and then bowed to Drew Dober (unanimous decision) in the UFC on FOX 27 in January this year in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Neal, on the other hand, is on a roll, prevailing in his last three fights for a 9-2 record. The Texas native is known as a standup fighter, as proven by five (via punches) of his six KO wins. Neal holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, two notches below Camacho’s brown belt, giving the Marianas warriors the edge in ground fighting. However, oddsmaker picked Neal as the slight favorite in this weekend’s match.

Meanwhile, with just a few days left before the bout, Camacho said they are going easy on training.

“The focus is making sure we are sharp and focused on the game plan for the fight. Another priority is just the weight cut to make the weight. We are lightening up training. No hard sparring or anything, just lots of drills and cardio,” said the Trench Tech bet, who is fighting in the welterweight class (170 lbs).

Camacho is dedicating the bout to all his supporters and thanked them for rallying behind him.

“I want to thank you, the people of the Marianas, my family, and my sponsors Harley Davidson of Guam and 76 Circle K Guam for the continued support. Without them, I would not be able to represent the Marianas in the UFC. Si Yu’us Ma’ase and Olomway.”

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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