UFC Welterweight and bonus machine Frank Camacho has a showdown with Geoff Neal at UFC 228, and we caught up with him about the fight and his start in MMA, among other topics.
Born in Hagåtña, Guam, Frank ‘The Crank’ Camacho grew up on an island in the Pacific. Actually growing up a fan of Golf, it wasn’t until he was a teenager that he started learning about MMA and watching videos of PRIDE and the UFC. Wanting to shed weight and get in shape, he took up the sport of MMA at the age of 15. Camacho learned not much later that fighting was something he liked to do.
“Growing up in the islands in the Pacific, there is not much to do really. I was fortunate to find Mixed Martial Arts (NHB at the time) at such an early age. I love the camaraderie and how it was like human chess!” he told Cageside Press recently. Camacho continued, “I came back every day for my beating, but was getting better every day. After a year of training, I was asked if I wanted to test my skills. I fought for the first time at 16 years old, and that’s all she wrote. I knew what I wanted to do.”
Frank Camacho has had three fights in the UFC, all of them getting ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors, that puts him in exclusive category with Justin Gaethje and Yoshihiro Akiyama. But Camacho doesn’t feel like he can take all the credit for the bonuses. “I feel I bring the Islander fighting spirit every fight. I can’t take full credit of the FOTN bonuses. It takes two to tango.” Camacho continued, saying “I always try to finish and simplify. Making it a fight does it for me”.
Camacho as one of the sport’s more entertaining fighters is starting to feel the appreciation for his fights in the octagon. ” I’m honestly just truly humbled at the amount of fan support I’ve gotten since being with the UFC”. Camacho added, “I’m so stoked they appreciate the heart I bring every bout”.
However despite getting three bonuses in a row, he only saw two of them. Reason being, in an attempt to drop down to lightweight again Damien Brown, he missed weight. Which means he didn’t qualify for the bonus. Realizing that the weight cut likely isn’t worth it, it appears Camacho will be staying at welterweight for the time being. “For now 170 will be my home. I’m not killing myself on the scales. Although a little on the smaller end of the division, I feel great and enjoy fight week and the process.” However, he didn’t shut the door on a return to lightweight saying, “155 is not out of the picture. I may give it a try my next fight.”
However Camacho has a tough fight at UFC 228 in opponent Geoff Neal, who is 1-0 in the UFC and got into the promotion through the Contender Series. Neal seems to be good in all areas, but Camacho is getting prepared for all facets of the fight. “Neal is very well rounded. He also is very fundamental and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, which I feel makes him dangerous.”
Camacho is especially getting ready after his last fight with Drew Dober, where he wasn’t as prepared for the grappling for the wrestling, which ended up leading to his downfall. “The mistake I made my last fight was anticipating one thing and not preparing so much on the grappling, wrestling department.”
But going into UFC 228, Frank Camacho seems to think he’s more than ready. “I’ve made the adjustments this camp, and I’m gonna do what I do, fight.”