A young, well-rounded prospect flying under the radar by the name of Erik Perez is rising up in the UFC bantamweight division. At the unripe age of 22, Perez has already earned the fastest KO in UFC/WEC history at 17 seconds of the first. Perez also stands as the only Mexican born fighter in the promotion. Why is he a prospect to watch?
Q&A with Erik Perez
You go from being known for your submission game to the record holder for quickest knockout in UFC bantamweight history at only 22. Was that how you envisioned your fight against Ken Stone ending?
“I try to finish every fight I’m in, but I never really picture how a fight will end because each one is so unique” said Perez.
Do you think we can expect to see more of your countrymen coming up the ranks soon, into the UFC?
“I think more Mexican fighters will join the UFC as it’s popularity continues to grow. For now, I’m honored to be leading the way and that helps motivate me to become a better fighter.”
Your cage name is “El Goyito?” Can you explain what that means? Where did that come from?
“El Goyito had to do with me looking so young. Now I think I look a lot older, so it might not be as appropriate.”
White has hinted at plans for a UFC event in Mexico. Has the UFC mentioned anything to you about a possible UFC in Mexico any time soon?
“I have not heard anything specifically about fighting in Mexico, but it would be a dream come true for me to represent the UFC in my home country.”
Your going to be meeting a hungry Byron Bloodworth as he comes down in weight after a loss. What do you expect to see from him and how will you be preparing for the match-up?
“I know I will get his best shot, and Byron is a well-rounded fighter. I never really change the way I prepare for a fight. I’m always trying to get better in every area of my game and just become a better overall fighter. My coaches at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA are the best, so I trust that they will always help me improve.”
That fight is set to take place on the huge UFC 155 card headlined by fellow Mexican Cain Velasquez. Is it safe to say you’ll be rooting for him? How do you see that fight going?
“It would be nice to see Cain do well as he is a terrific fighter, but at this point, I’m only concerned with my fight. My preparation is going to take my total concentration, so I try not to get caught up in what other people are doing.”
Catch Erik in his next fight against Byron Bloodworth on Dec. 29 at UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez in Las Vegas, NV.
Special thanks to VFD Sports management.