‘The Crank’ pursues fighting form


Frank “The Crank” Camacho takes a breather from his training camp with Team Oyama in California last month. Camacho is waiting for his return to the octagon cage. (Contributed Photo)

Marianas warrior Frank “The Crank” Camacho has completed his 10-day quarantine and will now focus on getting into fighting form before committing to any bout under the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion.

Camacho, who tested positive for COVID-19 a few days before his Sept. 12 showdown against Brok “Chata Tuska” Weaver, finished the isolation requirement yesterday, and met with the UFC medical team.

“They checked me today (Sunday morning Saipan time). I haven’t been showing symptoms for over 24 hours since I completed the 10-day quarantine so I got cleared,” said Camacho, who still have to undergo a series of tests before he gets back to training and plans for his next move.

“I will talk to my manager this week to see where they think they could fit me into a fight card. I want at least two to three weeks to recuperate and get back into fighting shape before I commit to anything,” added Camacho, who returned to California after his bout against Weaver in Las Vegas, Nevada was canceled.

Weaver lost to Camacho’s replacement, Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner, with the latter earning a submission win (rear-naked choke) in the second round of their duel in the UFC Fight Night 177. Before forcing Weaver to tap out, Turner pummeled the Alabama fighter with heavy punches on the face, including a strong right late in the first round that landed the former to the canvas.

Frank “The Crank” Camacho, left, in this file photo, uses his knee to hit Germany’s Nick Hein during their bout in the UFC Fight Night 153 in Sweden last year. (Contributed Photo)

After seeing Weaver, who claimed in pre-fight interviews how he has improved a lot since training under American Top Team, struggled against Turner, MMA pundits believed it would have been Camacho out there celebrating the much-needed victory.

The Team Oyama standout, on the other hand, downplayed the experts’ observation, saying that anything can happen in a fight.

“It’s kind of like how I was “supposed to win” against Justin Jaynes,” said Camacho. Jaynes filled in for Camacho’s original foe, Matt Frevola, who was pulled out from the UFC Fight Night 173 after his cornerman tested positive for COVID-19.

“But, I was so excited to fight Brok. I would have exposed a lot of holes in his game, LOL,” added the 31-year-old, who still went through some workout while in quarantine to fight off the virus.

With Camacho waiting to be officially cleared for returning to the octagon cage, there have been discussions on social media about the fight card he should be in. One suggests the UFC Fight Night 254 that will be held in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 25 and top-billed by the Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje collision with the UFC lightweight championship at stake. Four more UFC events are slated in Abu Dhabi (Sept. 27 and Oct. 4, 11, and 18), while the seven remaining competitions are scheduled from Oct. 31 to Dec. 12 with venues yet to be determined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Camacho’s next bout will be crucial, as it is the last in his second contract with UFC. He is determined to finish the deal on a strong note and bounce back from back-to-back losses. Camacho holds a 22-9 record and owns a 2-5 mark in the UFC with his last win recorded more than a year ago against Germany’s Nick Hein (TKO/punches) in UFC Fight Night 153 in Sweden.

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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