When UFC 155 kicks off next Saturday from Las Vegas, most MMA fans will be focused on the Heavyweight title rematch between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. But there’s a fighter also on the card who’s quickly moving up in the ranks at Bantamweight, with two victories inside the Octagon. That fighter is the Mexican-born Erik Perez. Nicknamed “El Goyito”, Erik Perez holds a record for the fastest KO in UFC/WEC history for his demolition of Ken Stone at UFC 150 earlier this year.
Here’s what Erik Perez had to say about his upcoming fight with Byron Bloodworth at UFC 155:
How has life changed since your epic 17-second knockout of Ken Stone at UFC 150?
I’ve had more interview requests and done more media for the UFC, but other than that, I just keep training every day for my next fight.
You are now on a 7-fight win streak. How much longer before you get that UFC title shot?
I’ve only had 2 fights in the UFC, so that’s what matters. I’m only focusing on my next fight, and if I keep taking care of business, everything will work out for itself.
What does it mean to you to be an ambassador of sorts for MMA in your home country of Mexico?
It means a great deal to me, because I take pride in being the only mexican-born fighter in the UFC. I know others are looking up to me and hopefully I can lead many more Mexican fighters into the UFC.
What would you say to the critics of the lighter weight classes in MMA?
You either like MMA or you don’t. Everybody in the UFC fights at the highest level regardless of what they weigh. Even light guys have knockout power as I’ve shown.
Your UFC debut earlier this year had a controversial ending to it. Give us your take on the John Albert fight.
I will fight until the ref stops the fight. I can’t really do much more than that.
Who, in your opinion, do you match up with better: Dominick Cruz or Renan Barao?
I would be honored to have a chance to fight either one because it means that I will have had a lot of success in the UFC earning that kind of matchup.
Lastly, who have been your greatest influences as a fighter while training at Greg Jackson’s MMA?
I’ve trained a lot with guys like Cowboy Cerrone, Leonard Garcia, and other Jacksons fighters like Bart Palaszewski and Diego Brandao. Everyone at the gym helps me get better every day, including my other coaches like Mike Valle and Mike Winkeljohn.