Despite Erik Perez's UFC Fight Night 27 loss, UFC still bullish on Mexico


erik-perez-8.jpgINDIANAPOLIS – It helps to have a local star when the UFC enters a new market, but it’s not necessity, according to UFC President Dana White.

That’s good news for UFC fans in Mexico, who are still expected to get their first event in mid-2014 despite top bantamweight prospect Erik Perez‘s loss at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 27 event.

Perez (13-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC), the UFC’s first Mexican-born fighter, got a featured FOX Sports 1 main-card bout at the event, which took place at Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. However, the 23-year-old’s eight-bout winning streak came to an end following a split-decision defeat to Takeya Mizugaki (18-7-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

While Perez certainly has received some of the UFC’s promotional muscle since his 2012 debut in the organization, and though he’s likely to play a significant role in the UFC’s Mexico debut, White said it’s not imperative that such fighters have spotless records. The organization will keep promoting them anyway, as it’s done with Perez and others like Irish featherweight Conor McGregor and Swedish light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson.

“Everybody was talking in Boston when we were doing all the stuff around Conor McGregor,” White said. “It’s what we do – we promote guys. He’s from Ireland, he’s from Mexico, he’s from here, and he’s from there. We promote them. It’s up to them to keep winning. I don’t look at it as, ‘Aww, the whole Erik Perez thing is gone.’ It just is what it is. Erik Perez will fight again.”

Besides, he said, their fighting spirit is more important than a lengthy winning streak.

“Conor’s a character, but first and foremost, the dude’s a fighter,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “All he wants to do is fight. He wants to fight everybody. It’s real easy to promote guys who want to fight and kick ass.”

However, according to White, with three straight UFC wins and a steady rise in the UFC’s bantamweight ranks, Perez likely was dealing with various factors, including an eight-month injury layoff, increased media attention and tougher competition heading into UFC Fight Night 27.

“Once a guy starts to get the kind hype he was getting, a lot of things affect him,” White said. “So I’m sure it was a lot of things. I was hearing rumblings that he didn’t want to do any media and he was this and that and all this other stuff. All that bulls–t plays a factor in what happens.”

Besides, White said, the UFC isn’t limited to just Perez when it heads to Mexico. As he pointed, UFC Fight Night 27 winner and “The Ultimate Fighter 17? champion Kelvin Gastelum (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who made quick work of Brian Melancon (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), has Mexican roots. So, too, does UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.

Win or lose, local or not, some fighters have the X-factor White loves. It’s led fighters such as UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to megastar status. It’s too soon to know if Perez will ever reach that type of notoriety, but White said he is willing to wait to find out.

“I mean, look at Ronda Rousey,” he said. “She’s arguably one of the top three biggest stars in the UFC. It’s not about anything she does differently. She has that thing. Some people have it, and some people don’t. Even a guy like Anderson Silva took some time. Anderson Silva’s been winning fights since 2006 or whatever here, and it took a while for people to get into Anderson, too.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 27, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 18 days ago
  • 11 views

Rising welterweight star Brandon "Rukus" Thatch landed a flurry of punches to Justin Edwards, earning himself a knockout victory in his UFC debut. read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 8 views

As he prepares to face Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night in Broomfield, Colo., on Feb. 14, Cole Miller hasn’t spent much time studying his foe’s loss to Conor McGregor. read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

Two heavyweights coming off a loss will tangle at UFC Fight Night “Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2,” when Anthony Hamilton faces Daniel Omielanczuk. read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 3 views

Following a second straight loss in the lightweight division, Benson Henderson accepted an opportunity to return to the Octagon on short notice as a replacement opponent for Brandon Thatch. Originall read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 5 views

On the heels of a loss that likely cost her a shot at strawweight champion Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha will meet The Ultimate Fighter 20 contestant Aisling Daly at UFC Fight Night 64. UFC official read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 4 views

From former heavyweight champ to UFC pink slip? Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight kingpin Frank Mir has fought all but two of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts ins read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 views

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – Without a win in more than two years, Antonio Silva may have reason to be a little melancholy. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 3 views

UFC Fight Night 61 headliner Antonio Silva is benched for two months following his third knockout loss in four fights.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 3 views

Who says the house always wins? If you put some coin down on last night's (Sun., Feb. 22, 2015) UFC Fight Night 61 event, chances are you didn't make much of a profit. Unless, of course, you were ban read news >>