Saturday, September 10th, Canadian Fighting Championship returns to the Winnipeg Convention Centre with CFC7. This is a card loaded with exciting local fighters and intriguing match ups. The most exciting fighter on the card has to be Eric Perez. He makes his way back into the cage to take on Tony Bibby. I got a chance to go down to WAMMA (Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts), catch his work out and speak with him.
When did you start camp for this fight?
I started my camp quite a while ago, this one will end up being just short of 11 weeks. This one is a little longer because I was really heavy and had a long way to go to get back in shape.
Is there anything you decided to work on more? Striking, jiu jitsu?
No, my camps are always the same, I’ll work on specific things for different opponents depending on how we game plan. But equal time is spent on my stand up and ground games.
What do you see as your opponent, Tony Bibby’s biggest weakness?
I haven’t seen too much footage on Tony so I’m not too sure. I just prepare for the worst by working a lot with the best guys at our club. I’ve heard a few things about him but he’s never fought anyone like me and I haven’t been this ready for a fight since CFC3, so I’m anxious to get back in there and remind everyone who I am.
As one of this city’ most exciting fighters, do you feel any pressure to go for broke every time?
The city’s? I am Canada’s most exciting bantamweight! Ha! I don’t fight a certain way because I have to, I fight the way I do because it’s the only way I know how. I’m constantly looking for a way out of bad spots, and I am always looking for a way around, over, or through my opponent.
How do you see this fight ending?
I hope this fight goes a few round. It’s been a while since my last fight and I really enjoy the ring time. I always want to have the fight on the feet as long as I can keep it there. If I can keeps this fight standing for a majority of the first two rounds he’s going out, no question. I will have my way with him on the feet. I’ve been working on a couple of new submissions as well, so hopefully I get to use one of them and get the tap that way, either one of those I’m sure will have everyone asking ‘what was that?!’ I’ve been away a while and there are people out in the MMA community who’ve forgot who I am, I’m going to use this fight as a reminder. I am more focused for this fight than I have ever been before.
I’ve set a new goal for myself and that is to fight in the UFC’s 125 pound flyweight division they announced they’re starting next year. I just turned 33 and I realize that I am quickly running out of time to accomplish that goal, so anything I can do to get there I will do and if that means sacrificing my social life to get there, so be it. I’ve given myself 3 years to accomplish this goal and it’s going to start here at CFC 7 and unfortunately for Tony Bibby, he’s going to run into the new Eric Perez.
That is so awesome. We’re all definitely pulling for you and want to see you in the UFC. Can’t wait until your first post-fight interview with Joe Rogan! Let’s move on to the diet and training leading up to your fight.
Name that one food you’ve been craving once training and the fight is done.
I can’t, there are way too many. I’m definitely hitting up something greasy after the fight, even before we make it to our after party.
What is the worst part of training, what’s the best part of training?
For this fight, it was definitely missing out on the amazing summer we’ve been having. I spent just about every evening in July and August at WAMMA (Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts), there are a lot of places I would have rather spent for a few of those nights that’s for sure.
The best part is getting back in the gym, once I’m back in shape I even surprise myself with what I’m capable of doing in the gym. Spending time with the guys at WAMMA is awesome, they’re my brothers and I trust them to make sure they get me ready for every fight. I know once they give me the ok next week that there aren’t a lot of guys in this country that can handle me.
What other fight on this card other than yours are you most looking forward to?
Of course I’m really excited to see my teammates fight. Lindsey Hawkes vs Chris Stranger is gonna be a great fight! Chris is a nice guy and a good grappler but there is no way I see him winning this fight, even if he does manage to get Lindsey to the ground he’s in a lot of trouble. Lindsey is a brown belt and the things I see him do in gym, wow! Lindsey is the striking coach at WAMMA and if Lindsey has his way, Chris is gonna be counting the lights at the Convention Centre. Also, Dwight Sutherland is fighting Serge Rochon, I used to train with Serge when I trained with CKMTC a few years ago and he is a hell of a guy and a good fighter. Dwight has come a long way in a really short time since he joined WAMMA and he was already very talented naturally and pretty experienced. The main event looks awesome on paper as well. Dave Zuniga vs Cyrus Washington, I’ve seen some of Washington’s fights online and he looks like one hell of a muay thai fighter. Dave is Dave and getting to see him fight live again is gonna be treat, he’s spent a lot of time in Thailand recently and I am excited to see what he’s bringing back.
Where can we get tickets to CFC 7?
Ticket Master has tickets but I believe almost all of the tables are sold out. Contact CFC gym if you’re looking for some tickets.
How about a shout out to your sponsors?
A shout out to Dean at Full Time Fighter in Garden City Mall. Full Time Fighter have been great supporters and Dean is a huge help with all of my sponsors. He’s one of the biggest MMA fans and a very good friend of mine. Watch for a new location in St.Vital Mall for the Christmas Holidays, you’ll also see some of WAMMA’s top fighters actually working there!
I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again. A fight card that includes Eric Perez is a sure way to get your money’s worth. He’s an exciting competitor with break-neck speed. In fact, my poor photographer had a difficult time catching the right shot as Eric’s punches and kicks came at a furious pace.
CFC7 is a stacked card and will be on fantastic show. Enjoy the fights!
Photos by: Gillian Timog