UFC Fresno: Valley native makes statement in debut

Alex Perez poses for a post fight portrait backstage during the UFC Fight Night event inside Save Mart Center on Dec. 9, 2017 in Fresno, California. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC’s first visit to Fresno on Saturday was like a homecoming for Lemoore’s Alex Perez, and after proving himself on “Dana White’s Tuesday Contender Series,” he was ready to prove himself in front of the Central Valley crowd.

Facing off against the Philippines’ Carls John de Tomas, Perez did just that as he submit de Tomas with an anaconda choke in the second round.

“It felt amazing to go out there in front of all my fans and get the finish,” Perez said after the fight. “I put a lot of hard work and time into this. I believe in myself and this is an amazing feeling. I knew he [de Tomas] was strong and has composure but I trust my game.”

After putting some pressure in the first round, Perez returned in the second with that same aggressiveness to take down De Tomas and eventually gain position for the choke.

For Perez (19-4), it was his fourth win of the year, but first on a major stage.

I’m going to go back down to flyweight and see what goes from there,” he said. “I’m hoping to get in on that Vegas card in March. I also just wanted to thank all the fans that we’re in Fresno tonight rooting for me! This was a dream come true! Making my UFC debut in my hometown, it can’t get much better than this.”

Daniel Leon :