Frankie Perez pensionsbesked chockade MMA-världen i augusti förra året efter knockout-vinsten mot Sam Stout. Men nu meddelar han på The MMA Hour att han tänker komma tillbaka.
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Efter en imponerande knockout-vinst på 54 sekunder mot Sam Stout (20-12-1) på UFC Fight Night 74 meddelade Frankie Perez (10-2) totalt oväntat att han lägger ner sin MMA-karriär. I kvällens The MMA Hour avslöjar han att han vill komma tillbaka till sporten och han berättar också om det som ledde till beslutet att lägga av när hans karriär var på topp. Mycket av det som ledde fram till detta var allt som hände före och efter förlustmatchen mot Johnny Case (22-5).
”Last year was a tremendous year, up and down for me. Starting the year off was rough for me with the whole Johnny Case fight, but leading up to that, a lot of people didn’t know. I never made any excuses or told anybody what was going on, but leading up to that fight I lost my grandfather, who was very, very close to me. He was my best friend. He passed away on a Wednesday, I got the call on a Saturday to go fight Johnny Case on four weeks.”
”Two weeks into camp I popped my MCL. Right after that, before I left to Boston, my grandmother gets rushed to the hospital and dealing with all that. It was a lot on somebody’s head. I’ve been dying to get that off my chest because a lot of people always ask me what happened there.”
”To be honest and frank, I was lying to myself that whole week, that I was ready, that I should’ve just manned up and fought. I was just in a different mindset that I couldn’t get my grandparents out of my head. Warming up in the back, it was right then and there I knew I was just brought in as an opponent. I was going to lose. I’ve never had that feeling in my life ever.”
Efter dessa dödsfall tog det ett tag för honom att börja tänka på MMA och träning och när han kom tillbaka till gymmet så var det något som inte riktigt stämde.
”It was a lot. I didn’t even want to think about MMA, let alone go train or anything like that.”
”I want to say maybe four months later I finally regrouped, got my feet back under me and started training again, but it definitely wasn’t the same. I really was doing it to do it, not because I loved it. I was just kinda rolling with the punches and doing what I’m used to doing.”
Han kände att namnet Sam Stout var den perfekte motståndaren men han gillade inte träningen inför matchen och hatade sporten samtidigt som han fick sin största vinst i karriären.
”I didn’t want to train. I was really coming home pissed off. I couldn’t stand my family, I couldn’t stand my coaches, I was just not me. I hated the sport and I had the best fight of my life. I went in there with probably the second-biggest name to ever come out of Canada and I stopped him in less than a minute. Maybe it was a little dramatic on the retirement because at the time, my mindset was ’I’m done. I don’t ever want to lace up another pair of gloves. I don’t want to train anymore. I just want to enjoy my life and just enjoy the life that was given to me.’
”It wasn’t fair to my family, it wasn’t fair to all my friends around me, it wasn’t fair to myself to be living a life that I’m forced to live just because I’m good at it. So, that’s when I called it quits and said I’m done.”
Men nu har han hittat tillbaka till den glöd han hade och nu är han hungrig och redo för en återkomst.
”Honestly, man, up until about two months ago, three months ago, I was really done with this sport. I’ve been catching myself around it even though I’ve been gone. I’ve been to three or four fights since then. I’ve seen you at the fights.
”I realized that this is really what I’m about. This is me. I was getting ready for a charity fight and I really had a lot of fun. I found my passion for the sport again. I found my love. I really enjoyed waking up early and going for a run and training with coach Mark [Henry], being around the boys and Frankie [Edgar], Eddie [Alvarez] and Edson [Barboza] and Marlon [Moraes] and everyone getting ready for their fights, training with Corey Anderson every Tuesday. I was having fun again. I wasn’t forced to go in there.”
”I really found my passion and drive and realized why I’m here, why I was meant to be in Canada against Sam Stout, why I was meant to be in the UFC. Everybody has their calling. LeBron plays basketball, Tiger Woods plays golf. I really believe that I am meant to be here. I’m meant to be one of the best. Today is the first day of the rest of my life here. I don’t know how it’s going to go. I could go back and be three fights in and be three fights out.”
”But I am definitely ready to make that next move and coming out of retirement, getting ready to be active again. The call is being made to the UFC today and we’ll see how everything goes, how Joe [Silva] and Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] feel.”
Vill ni se honom komma tillbaka och vem vill ni se som motståndare i den matchen?