The Gotch Special Exclusive: Erik “Goyito” Perez Interview

"El Goyito"

“Goyito Power”

From 2008 to 2011, Erik “Goyito” Perez Ruvalcaba was one of the most popular and exciting fighters in the Valley. The last time we saw Goyito compete in South Texas was at STFC 15 (April 15, 2011). Entertaining and fun, Goyito’s final STFC fight came to an end when Goyito finished Jessie Thorton via rear-naked choke in the second round. Now in 2013, Goyito has a proud 3-0 record in the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world. Along with fighting for the UFC, Goyito is also the promotions Spanish color commentator. He has a busy weekend, making an appearance tomorrow night at STFC 25 at the McAllen Convention Center and calling Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva II in the booth for Fox Deportes.

Jake Montalvo, Goyito Perez and Rock N Roll James at the McAllen Convention Center, April 15, 2011.

Jake Montalvo, Goyito Perez and Rock N Roll James at the McAllen Convention Center, April 15, 2011.

Observing Goyito at the today’s weigh-ins made it clear that he hasn’t changed at all since joining the UFC. It was endearing seeing him hang out, joke around and pose for hundreds of photos. One amusing moment involved him putting on his mask and posing with a group of local mariachis. Seeing STFC featherweight champion DJ Fuentes and Goyito joking around together, you never would have gotten the impression that the two fought ferociously in a memorable clash at STFC 11 (May 28, 2010).

Goyito was gracious enough to talk to us and share his thoughts on several different subjects. Below the video interview is an English translation I typed up.

English Translation:

The Gotch Special: How do you feel about returning about to the Rio Grande Valley?

Erik “Goyito” Perez: Well I feel very happy that they invited me back to the Valley, where I started fighting. Happy to be here with the people who supported me when I began fighting.

TGS: Do you have any favorite memories fighting for STFC (South Texas Fighting Championship)?

Goyito: The first time I fought here was in the baseball stadium in Edinburg [on May 3, 2008]. Everybody started chanting my name when I was fighting [against Tim Snyder]. It was a very emotional moment for me and my career.

TGS: I read an article where you said that Octagon was your favorite luchador. Did you ever go to live lucha libre events as a kid?

Goyito: Yes since I was a little kid. I was born in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, and my dad would take me to the lucha libre events, along with my brothers. Octagon, Santo and all the big name luchadores, I admired them a lot.


Goyito in the UFC.

TGS: Do you still watch lucha libre?

Goyito: I still watch it. AAA, LLL, and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL formerly known as EMLL). I still like it a lot.

TGS: If you had the opportunity, would you like to work a lucha libre match?

Goyito: [laughs] Ah no. Right now I’m good with mixed martial arts. I think [doing] MMA and lucha libre is something different.

TGS: On April 27, you were set to fight against Johnny Bedford. Unfortunately you got a staph infection.

Goyito: Yeah. I’m already feeling a lot better, I’ve been to rehab. I’m waiting now until [the fans] see me again in the Octagon.

TGS: Would you like to fight Bryan Caraway [Editor’s Note: Caraway replaced Goyito at UFC 159 and defeated Bedford via rear-naked choke]?

Goyito: Whoever the UFC tells me to fight. I think Caraway is in front [of me] and if UFC gives me the opportunity to fight with him, I would.

TGS: Concerning your division, who do you think is the best bantamweight, [UFC bantamweight champion] Dominick Cruz or [UFC interim bantamweight champion] Renan Barao?

Goyito: Barao. I think Barao is very strong for the [135 lbs.] division.

UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, UFC play-by-play man Pablo Alsina and Erik "Goyito" Perez. Photo Credit: Pablo Alsina's Twitter.

UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, UFC play-by-play man Pablo Alsina and Erik “Goyito” Perez. Photo Credit: Pablo Alsina’s Twitter.

TGS: How do you feel about being a color commentator now in the UFC?

Goyito: Well, it’s excellent. UFC calls me to commentate and I’m doing what makes me happy.

TGS: Well I want to thank you for your time.

Goyito: Nombre, thank you guys for opening the doors for me. I’m here for everyone.

TGS: Any words for your fans?

Goyito: Thank you for all your support. In English too, thank you all the guys in Texas for your support. And more Goyito Power is coming to the Octagono. [laughs]

Goyito finishing Byron Bloodworth at UFC 155, in Las Vegas, on December 29, 2012.

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