In a Bantamweight fight at UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2, Erik Perez (12-4, 2-0 UFC) takes on Byron Bloodworth (6-2, 0-1 UFC) on the free FX preliminary card. The UFC 155 PPV airs tonight, December 29, with the main card beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
Perez has received extensive pre-fight publicity because he's been given permission by the UFC to wear a Mexican luchador mask in his walk to the Octagon.
How do these two stack up?
Perez: 23 years old | 5'8" tall | 67" reach
Bloodworth: 29 years old | 5'9" tall | 69" reach
What have these two done recently?
Perez: W Ken Stone (KO) | W John Albert (Sub) | W Paul McVeigh (UD)
Bloodworth: L Mike Easton (TKO) | W Scott Farhat (KO) | W Jose Tezanos (UD)
How did these two get here?
Perez trains out of the famous Greg Jackson gym in New Mexico. He's been impressive so far in his UFC career, knocking out Ken Stone and submitting John Albert. The UFC is putting a strong PR push behind him because he's from Mexico and they are eager to tap into the huge Mexican fight fan market.
Bloodworth dropped down to Bantamweight to come to the UFC and struggled with his weight cut against Mike Easton. He ultimately missed the 135 lb. limit by three pounds. He had been scheduled to face John Albert but was injured and replaced by Perez.
Why should you care?
Perez is another great Latin hope. The UFC pushed Roger Huerta hard in 2007-2009 to be the Mexican face of the UFC, then they pushed Cain Velasquez as the "first Mexican heavyweight champ ever" and now it's luchador Erik Perez who's getting the attention of the UFC hype machine.