Months following the powerful, destructive winds of Typhoon Yutu as it passed over Saipan on October 24, 2018, the little island is quiet, now— visibly barren, but steadily rebuilding itself; recovering, just as it had recovered from the disaster wrought by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015. The leaves of the trees are growing, the island’s green returning, but there are stray roots still protruding from the ruined earth. All power poles are finally restored, as houses and buildings are still under construction, needing extensive repairs.
Saipan and its people have endured a series of hardships and losses, but each time, every time, it recovers. It perseveres, just as the indigenous Chamorro people have persevered for over 2,000 years— against disease and genocide brought on by Spanish conquerors, enslavement by Japanese soldiers of the Axis Powers, threats of nuclear destruction by North Korean dictators, government corruption, and economic collapse.
Saipan, and the whole of the Marianas Islands, hold a legacy of survival— including Guam, an island often casually and politically set apart from the Marianas Islands today, due to its status as a U.S. Territory.
But Guam suffered and survived just the same, with its sister islands and the Chamorro people who lived on them, separated by the great blue sea which sustained them all.
Frank “The Crank” Camacho’s life mirrors this ancient tenacity. It is in his blood. Born on Guam, and raised in Saipan—– home, to him, is the Marianas. Saipan, and Guam: for him, there is no distinction. He sees the islands, as a whole, as one people. His people. And just like the Chamorro people of the past, and the present, Frank has suffered losses…
And, like the Chamorro people, true to his heritage, the losses do not stop him. He moves on. He adapts. He overcomes.
Frank’s fight against Geoff Neal at UFC 228 was a loss that hit harder than others—- figuratively, and literally. With blood in his mouth, and a sluggish defense as his strength was chipped away by Neal’s punches, the finishing blow was a powerful high kick to Frank’s head. He went down almost immediately, prone and barely conscious as thousands of viewers stood and cheered.
Frank was unquestionably defeated.
But he did not quit his career as UFC Athlete, his dream. No, Frank only moved on to train harder, spending several months training under Colin Oyama in Irvin, California, and going on to defeat Nick Hein at UFC Fight Night 153 in Stockholm, Sweden with a fierce, calculated TKO.
He recovered, and he rebuilt himself.
About failure, Frank had this to say in a powerful, humbling Instagram post: Never Be Afraid To Fail. As I study film on my previous fights, I came across a video of my losses. I hate losing. Because of my competitive nature and work ethic, it is not ok to lose. Nor do I look for moral victories in BS quotes. Failing is part of the process if you’re trying to do something great. It sucks! But you absolutely cannot be afraid to Fail, even if failing means getting knocked out in front of thousands of people.
It’s a great, big world out there, and there are great, big fighters he is eager to fight. Frank “The Crank” Camacho, the fighter from the small, scrappy islands of the Marianas, is ready to take them on.
Win or learn, he is fighting in arenas across the globe; from Dalas, California, to Stockholm, Sweden.
And we can’t wait to see where The Crank fights next.