UFC’s Frank Camacho: “It Would Be an Honor” to Fight Diego Sanchez
There are certain fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts who have earned the label of “must-see TV.” Justin Gaethje, Matt Brown, Carlos Condit, Dustin Poirier and a small conglomerate of other fighters have established this designation through years of leaving it all on the line for the UFC faithful. Frank Camacho (21-6, 1-2 UFC), however, may have earned this label after just three fights in the promotion.
The 28-year-old Mariana Islands native has put on a spectacular trifecta of entertaining bouts since he was signed to the UFC roster eight months ago. Despite dropping two of these bouts by decision, Camacho has earned “Fight of the Night” honors in each outing, respectively.
Camacho views the “back-and-forth slugfest” nature of his brawls to be both a blessing and curse. “I promise, I’m trying to slip these punches and finish these fights,” laughs Camacho. “I’m not trying to make it a battle like this. It’s just my style– I don’t like going to the judges. I’ve been trying to fight in the UFC for so long, and it’s my only opportunity, so I’m really just putting it all on the line. It’s just a way of approaching life– don’t half ass anything. That’s how the fight should be approached, too.”
In his most recent outing back in January, Camacho dropped a close split-decision to Coloradan Drew Dober— a bout which took place at welterweight. Many who watched the fight, including Camacho (after the fact), believe the decision should have gone the other way. “Everyone on social media was totally on my side,” says Camacho. “I won the first and then I was doing my best to edge myself in the third, because in the second he was beating me up. I personally thought I did just enough.”
The bout against Dober took place as part of the “UFC on FOX” card in Charlotte, North Carolina. The night was scattered with questionable decisions, including Camacho vs. Dober. According to MMAdecisions.com, both media and fans voting was split almost exactly down the middle.
With a handful of questionable decisions handed out by the North Carolina commission that night, Frank Camacho believes judges should be held more accountable going forward. “Either way, I thought [the Dober fight] was really, really close, but I don’t know where that 30-27 came from,” says Camacho. “Commissions should start cracking down on this, because this is guys’ livelihoods. It’s not just like an amateur fight where it’s like, oh yeah sorry man you lost– people’s livelihoods are at stake. All we do is show up on fight night and we fight. We’re not a part of the judging. At the end of the day, those fifteen minutes are all we can do.”
Putting the judges’ decision and the loss as a whole aside, Camacho believes the bout against Dober will help him going forward. “There are a lot of takeaways,” explains Camacho. “First off, I didn’t anticipate that we were going to wrestle as much as we did. Team Elevation‘s guys totally had my game broken down. They did a good job. There’s just all of these little things and adjustments they were doing on the fly. I was landing my foot sweep pretty clean, but since he was landing so much to the body, I wasn’t so active on top.”
— Frank Camacho (@crankeffect) January 29, 2018
Now back training in the gym, Camacho is looking to get back into the octagon soon, and has already scoped out a potential opponent for his return. Taking to Twitter just days after the bout against Dober in North Carolina, Camacho respectfully called out future UFC Hall of Famer and fellow member of the unofficial “must-see TV” contingency, Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez.
“I’m a huge fan of Diego Sanchez,” explains Camacho. “I think career-wise, I’ve always pictured myself competing against him. I’ve been watching his fights so much, and I love mimicking his fighting style somewhat– his aggression and pushing forward to win fights. It would be an honor to fight him, and put on a show.”
It didn’t take long from the time Camacho hit “send” on his tweet to get a simple, but straight-forward response.
I like the match up
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) January 29, 2018
Checking his phone and seeing “The Nightmare’s” response, Camacho couldn’t contain his fan-like excitement. “He ended up responding and I was like, oh my god Diego Sanchez just responded to my tweet,” says Camacho, excitedly. “I almost tweeted back asking for an autographed shirt. It was so freaking cool.”
Since the exchange on Twitter, buzz for the potential fight has calmed down a bit. However, a video surfaced this past week of Diego Sanchez addressing the bout via a social media live stream. “It looks like I’m going to get this fight with this guy Frank Camacho,” said Sanchez. “He’s the first one who called me out– and he called me out respectfully. I respected that, but I just like the fight. I like the style matchup.”
The video can be seen below.
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