Frank Camacho (21-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC) is set to meet Nick Hein (14-4-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) on the prelims of UFC on ESPN+ 11, and he wants to do what no one has really managed to do in the UFC: force a brawl out of Hein.
“I’m gonna have to,” Camacho told MMASucka. “I don’t see myself staying out there and trying to win on points. I’m from Saipan, I’m from Guam, the Islands. Everywhere I fight, I’m the outsider fighting the hometown guy. The last thing I need is to go to a decision. I’ll get in his face, draw out whatever he has and try to counter and try to stop him.”
Camacho vs. Hein
Camacho has won Fight of the Night honors in three of his first four UFC bouts against Li Jingliang, Damien Brown and Drew Dober. However, Hein is a lower output fighter compared to Camacho’s past opponents. Not only does Camacho expect he’ll have to lead the dance, but so do MMA fans.
“Somebody posted the fight on Reddit, and I was going through the comments and they were saying, ‘Don’t worry, Frank will bring FOTN out of Nick Hein,’ And I’m like, ‘Oh man, now I’m that guy.’ My first three fights have gone to decision but that’s the last thing I want to do. I get in your face and make it a fight. He has no other choice but to have to fight me. That’s the style that I bring; I live or die by the sword.”
When Camacho looked up Hein to refresh himself on what his opponent is known for, the one thing that stuck out was Hein’s tank-like build. Camacho noted that Hein under-utilizes his judo game and the fact that both of them are on two-fight losing streaks.
“It’ll show who really wants this ‘W’ this next fight,” Camacho said.
Camacho said he took an honest look at his situation and feels his UFC job could very well be on the line. However, 29 years old and 28 fights into his pro career, he doesn’t intend on switching up his brawl-heavy style in favor of a jab-and-move game.
“Stylistically, I have a couple of more years in my career,” he said. “How do I maximize that with my style? I want to go in there and do what I love the most, and that’s bring the fight out. And that’s my key to victory.”
While he may not change who he is as a fighter, Camacho did change where he trains. UFC on ESPN+ 11 marks his first camp at Team Oyama in Irvine, CA.
After his knockout loss to Geoff Neal, Camacho sat down with his team, wife and manager, Jason House of Iridium Sports Agency. House encouraged him to train with his friend and owner of Team Oyama, Colin Oyama. Camacho checked it out twice–first at the end of 2018 and then earlier this year. It clicked.
“I don’t really have an overall MMA coach on Guam,” he said. “Someone telling me what to do and how to do, it made a big difference. It took me being away from home and being at the fighter house here in Irvine. All these young, hungry fighters and you can see the fire in their eyes. It reminds me of where I need to be and the fire that I had.”
Camacho said he’s most improved in the mental aspect of the game since moving to Team Oyama.
“The one thing I’m really taking from this camp is that I’m being mentally stimulated every session,” he said. “I’m learning something and I’m trying something and I want to do something new and work on different shit all the time. Now, even though it’s a rest day, I’m watching fights and thinking about how I can activate what coach has been saying this whole camp. The game-plan and what we’re trying to do against Nick Hein and in future fights. Activating that and bringing that into this fight, people are going to see a different Frank Camacho.”
Camacho predicted he’ll stop Hein and pick up his first UFC finish.
UFC on ESPN+ 11 goes down June 1 from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
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