Alejandro Perez is looking to speed things up in his MMA career.
The season one bantamweight champion of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America wants to take his professional fighting career to the next level, and that’s why Perez changed his fighting nickname from “Diablito” to “Turbo.” Perez, who returns to the Octagon at Saturday’s UFC Fresno (UFC Fight Night 123) against Brazilian veteran Iuri Alcantara, explained the change to MMA Fighting in a recent interview.
“My life has changed a lot, you know,” Perez said. “Now I’m 28 years old, I’m a father, and I felt that it was time to put turbo in my career and embrace all the changes in my career. I was looking to change my nickname and it was time to put turbo in my career, so I thought of ‘Turbo’ being my new fighting nickname.
“That’s what I felt I had to do and it was to help me get motivated. It was just time to put turbo in my career and my personal life, and to do the most I can at this moment and just make the most of it.”
Perez has been quietly building momentum in the UFC. “Turbo” might not carry the same buzz as Yair Rodriguez, his fellow countryman and cast member of season one of TUF: Latin America, but he has delivered in the promotion. The AKA product is undefeated in his last four Octagon appearances, scoring victories over Scott Jorgensen, Ian Entwistle and Andre Soukhamthath, while drawing against Albert Morales in a fight where he was deducted a point by the referee.
Now fighting Alcantara, a six-year UFC veteran who not so long ago sat on the UFC rankings, Perez is hoping to get a number next to his name with a win at UFC Fresno.
“I want to be in the rankings and I’m doing the best I can,” Perez said. “I know there are others that are doing well too, but that motivates me, and I’m doing things well and I think I can make it into the rankings of my weight class and keep advancing. I think this fight is a great opportunity to complete my first objective, which is getting into the rankings.
“I like this fight. I’ve seen Iuri Alcantara fight and yeah, I like the fight a lot. I also like the idea of advancing and being able to enter the rankings. We needed to make this step to keep advancing, and with God’s help, I’ll get it done this Saturday.”
Since joining the UFC back in 2014, the 28-year-old Perez has fought an average of twice per year. Looking to live up to his new nickname, Perez wants to be a little more busy moving forward.
“I like the way things have played out, I’ve gotten good fights, but I would like to be fighting three times a year,” Perez said. “It also depends on how things play out. You always have to see how things go down, how your health is following the fight, your recovery time, how much I want to learn before entering a training camp, so I like the way things have gone, but I think fighting three times a year would be better.”