Frank Treviño Signs With The UFC

Frank Treviño at his last STFC weigh-in, at South Texas College in McAllen. Photo: Eduardo Martinez.

Frank Treviño at his last STFC weigh-in, at South Texas College in McAllen. Photo: Eduardo Martinez.

According to MMAJunkie, Frank Treviño has signed with the UFC. Treviño went 10-0 competing in the STFC, the Rio Grande Valley’s premiere Mixed Martial Arts organization. Last week, he fought at Legacy 25, where he improved his record to 11-0.

Treviño is set to debut in the UFC’s lightweight division. The top fighters in that division are Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez, Benson Henderson, TJ Grant and Josh Thomson. It’s a tough ladder to climb in the UFC.

In STFC, we last saw Treviño at STFC 24 (the promotions 5th year anniversary extravaganza) on February 22, 2013. Treviño, the reigning STFC middleweight champion, dropped down in weight to defeat STFC welterweight champion Joseph Patrick Daily via unanimous decision. Treviño walked out of McAllen with both championship belts, in what proved to be his promotion’s swan song.

He kept the momentum rolling last week, as he defeated Lester Batres via unanimous decision using a clinch and grappling game in Houston, TX.

He has become the third fighter with ‘significant Valley-ties’ to sign with the UFC. All three fighters have been UFC attempts to break into the much coveted Mexican market. Mexican and Mexican-American boxers have held up the boxing industry for many years now. Just last month Juan Manuel Marquez, in his welterweight championship tilt with Timothy Bradley, outdrew Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos on PPV. Mexican and Mexican-American audiences were a major factor of the two biggest drawing PPV’s of all time — Oscar De La Hoya vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Mayweather Jr. vs Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. While Velasquez has had some success and is a world-class fighter, it’s hard to ever see him being that transcendent figure like the Mexican and Mexican-American icons we’ve seen throughout boxing history.

Roger Huerta, who spent a portion of his childhood in the “mean streets of Pharr”, made his UFC in 2006. After going 5-0 in the company, against some opponents that were hardly UFC-caliber, Huerta stepped up in competition against gatekeeper Clay Guida. In what was his best career win, Huerta came back from losing two rounds to defeating Guida via third round rear-naked choke submission. Huerta would lose his last two UFC fights, against Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard. Huerta’s return to Pharr, on Thanksgiving 2011 weekend, proved to be a sad one as War Machine defeated Huerta via third round TKO. UFC’s attempt to make him into a star just didn’t pan out.

Mexico’s Erik “Goyito” Perez is a current UFC bantamweight, who first made his name in McAllen’s STFC promotion. He competed seven times in that promotion, raking up four wins and three losses. Perez made his UFC debut last year, defeating John Albert on late notice. He snatched up two more victories before being outpointed by former WEC title contender Takeya Mizugaki. Perez has bounced back with a win over Edwin Figueroa last week at UFC 167. While UFC initially vetoed the idea, they have since allowed Perez to wear a lucha libre mask for his pre-fight and post-fight segments. Perez has also served as a Spanish-language color commentator on some of their broadcasts. The future still remains to be seen on how big of a star Perez can become for Mexican and Mexican-American MMA audiences.

Treviño is now the third man with Valley-ties in this position. He has already made his intentions clear in interviews with MMAJunkie’s John Morgan — who has some Valley-ties of his own — about his desire of becoming “the face of Mexican MMA”. Excited to see who he gets paired up with in his UFC debut in 2014.

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