After nearly seven years and 20 fights, flyweight Alex Perez finally got his opportunity to get into the UFC, and he didn’t disappoint.
Facing Kevin Gray in Dana White’s Contender Series in August, Perez was able to pick up a first round submission win and earn a shot at the UFC.
“The opportunity came out of nowhere,” Perez told MMAWeekly.com. “I was getting ready for another fight, so I was already in shape. They called me and asked me if I wanted the spot, and I took it.
“For me it was like a last chance. I was on the other show Dana White has, Looking for a Fight, and I won my fight and dominated throughout (but wasn’t signed to a UFC contract) so I felt like this was my last chance to get in the UFC.”
Feeling he missed out on a previous chance to impress the UFC, Perez wasn’t going to come up short against Gray.
“Either I was getting knocked out or choked out, or (Gray) was getting knocked out or choked out,” said Perez. “I feel I did okay. I have a lot more to offer. The fight went my way. I got the finish three minutes into the fight, so I’m happy with my performance.”
Perez (18-4) will make his proper promotional debut against Carls John de Tomas (8-1) in a preliminary 125-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 123 on Saturday in Fresno, Calif.
“From what I know of him, he likes to throw, so he’ll come in with good hands and good stand-up, and they’ve told me he’s a good wrestler too, so I’m expecting a 15-minute battle,” Perez said of de Tomas. “If it isn’t (a battle) that’s great, if it is (a battle) that’s great too.
“I want to make a statement in my first UFC fight. I’ve been in this sport a long time and have had a lot of fights, but I really want to make a statement in this fight.”
Now that he’s in the UFC, Perez is hoping to keep up a busy pace in 2018 and be ready to fight whenever the company has a bout for him.
“I want to take it fight by fight, but I want to stay active,” said Perez. “After my fight I’ll be back in my gym on Monday. Win or lose, I always want to get better.”
(Photo courtesy of Alex Perez)