UFC Singapore is not far away now as weigh in day slowly approaches. Each fighter will be counting their lbs and be desperate to get them down as rapidly as possible before stepping on the scales. For each of them it is routine, however, when it’s on short notice, not so much and not as easy for sure as preparations are crammed into to a tight space of time. One of the fighters who has been going through this short notice cut and quick prep is Frank Camacho. Despite having to tough task of taking a fight short notice against a very tough opponent, Frank is in great spirits, cheerfully going about his ways in the build-up to his fight with Jingliang.
Frank’s name may seem familiar to some, as it should, having previously competed on TUF 16. Camacho featured in the opening bouts to get into the house, falling short in a hard fought battle with current UFC star Neil Magny. Unfortunately for him, he was not signed to a further deal as many are after TUF and were made go about it the hard way in order to get his second chance. Despite having to wait longer for his opportunity in the UFC, he seems to be loving every moment.
“It feels amazing[to have finally signed with the UFC]! Now that we are in fight week, I’m starting to really feel the whole “UFC experience.” I’m loving every second of it. It’s really a dream/goal come true. Something I’ve been working for the past 14 years. I would consider it a relief after TUF 16. Not many people get 2nd chances in life. This is my 2nd chance. And it’s being presented to me for a very good reason. I’m destined to fight at this point in my life.”
Since his stint on TUF, he believes he’s grown as a fighter, improving an extraordinary amount making him the fighter he is today and thanks a lot of that learning and improvement to his brief experience on the show.
“I have made leaps and bounds in my fight game since Magny. And I really thank him and the TUF experience for that. Before that fight, it was always a “GO GO GO GO” mentality. But truthfully, in the fight game, the toughest, strongest, fastest guy doesn’t win. It’s the smarter fighter. That’s where I’ve made leaps and bounds. Increasing fight IQ. And still learning of course.”
Now putting the past behind Frank looks onto to his fight at the weekend with confidence, believing he is going to give Jingliang one hell of a tough fight.
“I know what Li is good at: He is tough, durable, comes in shape, is dangerous with his striking, scrambles really well, and has good takedown defence. He is really an all-around guy that will give any fighter in the roster problems. But, he’s never faced a guy like me. If you look at all his matchups, he’s never faced a guy that’s willing to get in his face and exchange with him. Without giving my game plan… *laughs* this aspect will open up lots of opportunities to make a great fight that will be in my favour.”
As talks of this being an exciting stand-up fight came up, Frank was not ruling out the possibility of it being a potential fight of the night and picking up a tasty bonus for his efforts.
“50Gs!??! I’LL TAKE IT! *Laughs*. Li and I both have our strengths and weaknesses. We have great camps that will create game plans for each other. But at the end of the day, when leather starts flying. It’s going to be a fight. And this fight definitely has FOTN potential. We would rather be technicians in there, but we are both ready to throw down!”
With this upcoming fight being 170 it isn’t an extremely tough cut for Camacho but having fought at 155 before as well as picking up a title in PXC at the weight class along the way, the possibility of dropping down isn’t being ruled out in the future.
“I have a great team with me. I can make welterweight as well as lightweight. The best part about me is that I can take last minute replacement fights at 170 and not be too small. 155 I might need more prep, but both are on the horizon.”
For many joining the UFC, they could see it as a life-changing experience or a turning point in their lives so to say. For Frank though, he plans to go about his days as they always were, like a true martial artist and keep enjoying what he’s doing in the best promotion in the business.
“Since signing with the UFC, I haven’t really seen a massive turning point. Imma keeps doing what I’m doing. The way I am as a person, martial artist has gotten me to this point. Of course, really focusing now on training and taking care of my body. Now I gotta keep working hard, keep getting better, constantly learning and most importantly keep having fun in the best promotion in the world.”
Frank takes on Li Jingliang this weekend at UFC Singapore and it is not one to be missed.
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223
UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.
Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.
After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.
A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.
Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.
Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.
A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.
Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet
Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.
“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”
Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.
“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”
Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April
MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.
The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.
Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.
An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.
His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).
Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.
PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.
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