‘The Crank’ faces two battles


In this file photo, Frank “The Crank” Camacho practices his boxing skills during a training camp with Team Oyama in California. (Contributed Photo)

At this time of the pandemic, Frank “The Crank” Camacho has battles on and off the MMA cage.

He left Guam for California two days ago for a training camp in preparation for his Sept. 12 bout against Brok “Chata Tuska” Weaver in next month’s UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Camacho recognized the risk that comes with his travel at a time when COVID-19 cases in the mainland continue to rise, especially in the Golden State. The Marianas pride also acknowledged what’s at stake in his duel against Weaver.

“It’s the last fight in my contract. I need this W,” said Camacho, who got his second deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship late last year.

The 31-year-old athlete will climb to the cage anew aiming to bounce back from two straight losses, take his third UFC victory in eight fights, and get another contract with the biggest MMA promotion company in the world.

The warrior in Camacho is evident, as he decided to accept the early fight offer despite the odds stacked against him.

Frank “The Crank” Camacho ducks and hits Damien Brown during their bout in UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, Australia in 2017. (Contributed Photo)

“Truthfully, I’m not as scared of getting COVID-19 as I was before. I’m more worried about the other problems that come with it—not being able to do my job, spreading it to those who won’t be able to battle it off with their underlying conditions; and the other effects it will have by spreading it,” the Guam-born and Saipan-raised fighter said.

To protect himself and the people around him from the virus, Camacho said he diligently follows safety protocols and encouraged others to do the same.

“I have been limiting my contact with people and just with those who I train with and closely family and friends. I am mainly at home training,” he said.

“I urge people to continue following safety measures like washing their hands, wearing mask, and staying home as much as possible,” Camacho added.

Frank “The Crank” Camacho takes a selfie while waiting for his connecting flight to California to take off last Monday. (Contributed Photo)

As for his preparation against Weaver, Camacho said he will stay in California with Team Oyama for the training camp for at least three weeks before heading to Las Vegas.

“I will focus on the task at hand and stop worrying about things I cannot control—COVID, protests, opponent changes, quarantine, and etc. I will just focus on what I can control—training, mindset, and my focus on Sept. 12,” said the Team Oyama standout.

Before battling Weaver, Camacho was scheduled to square off against Matt Frevola in UFC on ESPN 11 last June 20. However, Frevola was pulled out from the fight card, as one of his cornerman was tested positive for COVID-19 before the weigh-in. UFC newcomer Justin Jaynes took Frevola’s spot and caught Camacho off guard, winning via TKO (punches) in the first round. The loss came after Camacho’s defeat (submission) at the hands of Beneil Dariush.

Despite his back-to-back setbacks and the current health and economic situations we are in because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Camacho vows to keep on fighting just like the rest of us.

“We all will.”

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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