'The Crank' on challengers list (Saipan Tribune)

'The Crank' on challengers list (Saipan Tribune Article)
Article by: Roselyn Monroyo

Frank “The Crank” Camacho has been picked as a worthy opponent for an undefeated Ultimate Fighting Championship newcomer.

In its Instagram post, MMA Matchmaking—a podcast of potential matchups between fighters—listed Camacho among the four warriors who could challenge unbeaten Jordan “The Monkey King” Leavitt.

“It’s interesting to hear that my name is still circulating around in there even though I’ve been inactive for nearly seven months after my last fight in Las Vegas,” said Camacho.

The Team Oyama fighter’s last appearance on the octagon cage was in June 2020 in UFC on ESPN 11 where he lost to newcomer Justin Jaynes (TKO early in the first round). Camacho was then scheduled to wrap up his UFC fight deal with the Sept. 12 bout against Brok “Chata Tuska” Weaver, but the former was pulled out from the UFC Fight Night 177 after he was tested positive for COVID-19.

Camacho survived COVID-19 and has since returned to Guam where he continues to train to prepare for any call from UFC.

“I am cranking it up again, doing cycling for my cardio and getting back into running. I am supposed to leave for California sometime this month for a training camp with Team Oyama, but have to push the trip back, probably late next month, to heal my foot injury,” the 31-year-old athlete said.

Camacho said once he is back on training camp in California, he will talk with coach/trainer Colin Oyama and his manager to discuss the options available for him, including his much-anticipated duel with fellow warrior Weaver.

“If given a chance to fight this 2021, I would love to run it back with Brok just because I trained hard for that fight. I’am not too sure what he has planned, that’s something we have to talk about,” the lightweight fighter said.

“Another fighter? Honestly, whoever. Actually, I just got tagged in Instagram by MMA Matchmaking and they put me on the list of possible fighters to match up with an unbeaten lightweight fighter. With that, I just have to be ready for whatever opportunities that will come my way,” Camacho said.

Leavitt holds an 8-0 card with his recent victory recorded in his UFC debut last month. The 25-year-old slammed Matt Wilman, leaving the latter unconscious for a while in the first round of their bout in the UFC on ESPN 19 in Las Vegas last Dec. 5. The Syndicate MMA standout earned a KO win just 22 seconds into the match. It was Leavitt’s first KO victory, as his seven other triumphs were off submissions (five) and decisions (two).

In picking Camacho as one of the qualified challengers of Leavitt, MMA Matchmaking mentioned that even though the Marianas pride has five losses in UFC, he proved he can brawl and put on a show against top tier fighters like Geoff Neal, Drew Dober, Beneil Darius, and Li Jingliang.

“Camacho is legit. He is on a two-fight losing streak, but has notable wins over Nick Hein, Damien Brown, and Keita Nakamura,” MMA Matchmaking said on its post.

Camacho holds a 22-9 record and 17 of his victories were via KOs/TKOs. He also got Fight of the Night honors in his first three UFC bouts.

Besides Camacho, other fighters listed as potential threats to Leavitt’s perfect record are Austin Hubbard (12-5), Jaynes (16-6), and Luis Pena (8-3).