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Erik Perez out to expand the UFC’s influence South of the Border

Erik Perez out to expand the UFC’s influence South of the Border

UFC bantamweight Erik Perez has quietly strung together eight straight wins including victories in three Octagon appearances, emerging on radar screens as a name to watch in the immediate future. While Perez could put himself in the discussion for title-contendership with a victory over Takeya Mizugaki on Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 27, the 23-year old isn’t out to earn a crack at the championship or any real individual accomplishment. Rather, the native of Monterrey, Mexico hopes to represent his culture well and give Latino fans someone to root for.

Perez spoke to MMAFighting about his goals in MMA, saying his dream was to see the UFC become as big in Spanish-speaking countries as it is in the United States.

“I’m representing all the Latinos and I want to [get] the UFC into Mexico. I want UFC in Argentina. I want UFC in Puerto Rico,” said the proud Perez, vowing to wear his trademark Luchadore get-up for the rest of his career. “The mask is for all the Latinos that support me. I’ll wear the mask every time.”

Of course, the 13-4 Perez would also like to eventually own divisional gold. He just isn’t in a rush.

“I need to beat [Mizugaki] first. I can say nothing [until then],” explained the humble Perez before admitting, “My dream is a title. Five years more, I want to [have] won the title,” he vowed. “I’m 23. [I'd be] 28? Yeah, I need a title. Five years more, I think I’ve [won] the title, still [defending] the title — one mini Anderson Silva.”

Fans can catch Perez-Mizugaki on the main card portion of this week’s card, set for FOX Sports 1.

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