If fans have come to expect anything from #9 UFC ranked flyweight Alex Perez, it’s action. And it’s that fast paced action that Perez delivers every single time.
Even though the world is amidst a crisis with COVID-19, the UFC has made it very clear that they plan to go forward with as many scheduled cards as possible. Although, having several hiccups and canceling a few shows in the past few weeks…As of Sunday, March 31st, Alex Perez had no inclination to feel that his fight or UFC on ESPN 33 against Kai Kara France is up in limbo, as they had just emailed him for his uniform preferences. At the end of the day, If the means justifies the card to go on, even in an arena with no audience (similar to UFC Fight Night 170), the promotion and the fighters are ready for work.
Fighters from all over, especially whom have scheduled bouts are now faced with a very real issue for the first time in their careers. Gyms are closed. Social distancing is at a peak. Countries are on lockdown. Various states have different rules to adhere to as far as when they can shop, where they can shop, and often times…with a mandated “curfew”.
Truly, this is a fighters nightmare as these mandated rule sets limit so many needs of their these athletes essential training. With no sparring, no first hand/one on one training/coaching, the endless tools fighters need for a proper training camp…Gone. So, Now what? How are they coping? How do they train?
Perez says, “I’m used to being at the gym 24/7! Whether its me training or coaching or just being around the boys and being around the gym members. Just trying to do my best to kind of see the positive stuff I guess in what’s going on.” Touching on the state of affairs in California at the moment for him, the flyweight fighters, “The only thing you can really do is grocery stores, or Costco, or Lowes or stuff like that. All the stuff you really need. You know gyms are closed down and stuff…but just hanging in there, man!”
What he is able to do is minimal in comparison to a normal training camp. But with a fight to prepare for currently…His options are limited. Thus, adjustment is key.
“I make the effort to go run. You know, if it’s one or two times a day. Just trying to stay…Trying to make sure I don’t go crazy.” the flyweight contender says with a laugh. He continues with “Honestly there’s not much you can do. I’m going for my runs. Obviously getting some shadow boxing in here and there when I’m running. I’m trying to run 2 to 3 times a day.”
In the down time, what better to do than to utilize UFC Fight Pass to do some game planning and homework for his upcoming dance partner, Kai Kara France?
“I’ve just been watching fights! I go on Fight Pass. Going in there and watching some of the best fights. I watched Kai…A few of his fights. And I’ve watched just people in my division. People out of my division. Just some of the guys I like to watch fighting! With all this going on, who knows. I mean, I just found out Russia closed off flights coming to the US, so who knows.”
Kai Kara France is an excellent opponent for Perez to take a step further to flyweight gold. With France Ranked at #7 and Perez at #9 only serves as extra motivation as Perez says, “This guy being ranked above me, just makes it that more exciting. Motivates me that much more. Like I tell people, I’m going to have to fight everyone in my division. So…Whether its now or later. It doesn’t matter.” Solidifying his claim, saying “I’m looking to fight wherever anyone who’s ranked above me, below me, it doesn’t matter! I say it all the time, I don’t get paid to sit on the couch. I’ll fight the number 15 guy if they want me to. The matchmaker gives me an offer and I say yeah, every time. I’ve never turned down a fight.”
Fans know both fighters for fast paced, technical battles who meet their foe, center cage, and look to finish the fight early. Perez couldn’t agree more, saying “Yeah man. I feel like we both go out there. We both look for the right hand. He comes out there, he takes the middle. I take the middle. So its going to be whoever pushes back first. Whoever can land first. Whoever has the better cardio, stamina.”
However, with no one knowing exactly what is to become of the current state of affairs during the pandemic. Similar to everyone else, Perez is still taking it day by day, while trying to stay ready and ahead of the curve as he says,
“I’m still getting ready like I’m going to fight May 16th. But honestly, I don’t know if it’ll be against Kai or if it’ll be against someone else. Just because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I’m hoping this is over soon. But if it’s not. If I don’t get to fight Kai now. We’ll fight eventually. We’re both young. We’re both going to be around for a while.”
While Perez didn’t give a “Babe Ruth” calling your shot, type of prediction, he did finalize by saying,
“I just see me winning. Doesn’t matter if its decision. If I knock him out. If we go to the ground, I can see myself finishing him. TKO, ground and pound, whatever it is. I just visualize myself winning and being the best version of myself that day and make sure I get the win.” Continuing with, “I’m just looking to go out there and put on a show for everybody.”
Closing it down by stating, “It’s going to be a fun one to watch.”
Tune in above as MyMMANews’ gets an exclusive one-on-one interview with #9 ranked UFC flyweight Alex Perez as we touch on his upcoming bout with Kai Kara France, life during a pandemic, and much more!