Watch interview with Alex Perez above
Alex Perez needed to double check with his manager after UFC 250 on June 6.
Perez earned one of the event’s four $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonuses for his first-round TKO [leg kicks] win against Jussier Formiga in Las Vegas, Nevada.
His stoppage was one of seven finishes out of 11 fights. Up against a lot of competition, Perez texted his manager Jason House right after getting off the phone with him.
“My manager called and he was like, ‘You know, you got the bonus,’ I was like, ‘No way.’ Then I texted him after we hung up and was like, ‘Are you for real? I got the bonus?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, you got the bonus,’” Perez said.
“I was like ‘Oh shit man, an extra 50 G’s.”
Perez fought in just the third bout of the night, headlining the UFC Fight Pass portion of the preliminary card. Following the performance was five more finishes.
During the pay-per-view main card, bantamweights Sean O’Malley and Cody Garbadnt put their opponents to sleep with walk-off knockouts. If that wasn’t enough, bantamweight Aljamain Sterling submitted Cody Sandhagen in under two minutes in a consensus No. 1 contender fight.
Pere’z performance still stood out to the UFC powers that be.
“I think people are hungry to get paid,” Perez said. “Everybody wants to fight right now, everybody wants to make money and everybody is putting on a show man.”
Perez was the only flyweight to win a bonus, but was joined by three different bantamweights. UFC 250 turned into a night of showcasing the lighter divisions.
“We’re exciting, even if it goes 15 minutes, we’re some of the most technical guys,” Perez said. “We’re fast, we got good cardio, so I think it just shows that we’re exciting.”
Even though Perez pays little attention to the rankings, he moved from No. 9 to No. 5 after finishing Formiga. A rematch between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight championship is expected to take place at “Fight Island” on July 18.
Perez plans to wait in the wings as a potential replacement. It sounds simple, but the 28-year-old struggles to decline other fights.
It’s why he is entertaining the idea of fighting Kai Kara-France. The two were originally scheduled to fight at UFC on ESPN 8 in Jacksonville, Florida on May 16. The bout fell through due to travel restrictions for Kara-France during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Alex Perez riding a three-fight win streak, he is weighing his options. He would like to make a return to the octagon in August.
“The smart answer would be to wait for the title shot, but I’m not a person to turn down fights,” Perez said. “Kai Kara-France tried to make a comment like, ‘Let’s book the rematch.’ In my head I was just thinking, ‘We tried to book the fight twice. You have a visa to come over here. Your parents didn’t want you traveling, so now it’s OK?’”
The UFC announced Yas Island in Abu-Dahbi as the location of “Fight Island.” For the recent UFC 250 bonus winner, there’s only one reason to make the trip overseas.
“I’m going to Abu-Dhabi for a title shot, I’m not going to Abu Dahbi to fight Kai,” Perez said. “Kai can come to the states and fight me if he wants.”