Albuquerque Trained Fighter Erik Perez is Not Concerned with November’s UFC Mexico Card Just Yet, UFC Albuquerque is First
When news was made recently that the UFC would be heading to Mexico this November for the first time ever, countless fighters of Mexican heritage as well as natives saw this as their chance to fight in front of their people. The most notable and no-brainers to be on the card would be current UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez who was born in the U.S. to Mexican parents, and Albuquerque trained, Erik Perez of Monterrey, Mexico.
“They’ve asked me, if I wanted to fight in Mexico City,” Perez (14-5) says, of the UFC wanting him to fight in his homeland. “I tell them, first thing is first, I have to go in and win June 7th and then it’s whatever the UFC wants.” In less than a month, Perez will be facing Seattle, Washington’s Bryan Caraway in first UFC event, UFC Fight Night Albuquerque – Henderson vs. Khabilov, to ever take place in the state of New Mexico.
“I don’t want to distract myself and look into the future,” Perez strongly insists. “I want to look at the current goal and that’s June 7th.”
That evening, the Mexican looks to improve on his new, media-voted number 10 placing in the most recent UFC Fighter Bantamweight Rankings. Standing across from him will be talented grappler, Caraway (18-6), a very formidable opponent who stands at number 13 on the same rankings.
Video: Erik Perez discuss upcoming fight with Bryan Caraway at UFC Albuquerque
As much as he tried to avoid discussing a future fight in Mexico, Perez knows the implications a victory over a top 15 opponent would have for his next fight. “I think with a victory… I’ll rise a little more in the rankings to hopefully fight a main card in Mexico City,” he says.
Despite knowing that 89% of his opponent’s victories have come by submission, Perez who has only been submitted once in his career has no concern if the fight goes to the ground.
“I’ve prepared myself well. If we go to the ground it’s not a weakness for me,” Perez says confidently. “I’m ready for everything whether it’s standing up or on the ground; we’re coming out the winners.”
Making the three-mile trek from Jackson’s-Winkeljohn’s MMA to the Tingley Coliseum June 7th with “El Goyito” is the main event’s Rustam Khabilov, and New Mexico natives John Dodson and Diego Sanchez.
“It’s going to be a busy card for Jackson’s MMA,” says Goyito. “We hope that it’s a great night for Jackson’s.”