Alex Perez cannot catch a break.
All seemed well leading into Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 43 event from San Antonio, Texas. Former flyweight title challenger Perez, who had just celebrated his 31st birthday on March 21st, weighed in at 126 pounds the day before his anticipated fight with Manel Kape. However, in the pre-fight moments leading up to his main card octagon walk, Perez suffered a seizure resulting in immediate medical attention from UFC personnel and his removal from the event.
News of the cancellation was announced on-air by the night’s commentary team of Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping with the cause being revealed in an Instagram post from Perez early Sunday morning.
The shocking last-minute news took fans by surprise, but it also came as the unfortunate opposite. Looking at his Tapology history of fights, Saturday night was Perez’s 14th fight cancellation since beginning his professional career in May of 2011 and his ninth cancellation in his last ten anticipated bouts. Here, in chronological order, is a brief summary of each cancellation over his run in mixed martial arts showing the opponent, scheduled event, date of anticipated fight, and explanation with reasoning.
Cancellation 1: Hector Sandoval
Tachi PF 21 – November 6th, 2014
Perez was to challenge for the Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Championship against Hector Sandoval but was removed from the event due to an undisclosed reason. Sandoval would end up fighting and losing the belt to Willie Gates.
Cancellation 2: Chad George
Tachi PF 32 – August 3rd, 2017
Perez received an opportunity to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series during their Week Five event leading to his removal from a fight with Chad George. George never was given another opponent.
Cancellation 3: Sergio Pettis
UFC Fight Night 159 – September 21st, 2019
An unknown type of injury led to Perez’s fight with Sergio Pettis being scrapped. Pettis was paired with and victorious by unanimous decision over Tyson Nam.
Cancellation 4: Kai Kara-France
UFC on ESPN 8 – May 16th, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted numerous events and various fights including a matchup between Perez and Kai Kara-France. Perez was given a different opponent of Jussier Formiga in June of 2020.
Cancellation 5: Brandon Moreno
UFC 255 – November 21st, 2020
After Cody Garbrandt was forced out of a championship fight with Deiveson Figueiredo, Perez was awarded the replacement slot in the UFC 255 main event while Moreno would be paired with Brandon Royval. Perez was submitted by guillotine choke in the first round while Moreno earned a first-round knockout over Royval.
Cancellation 6: Matt Schnell
UFC 262 – May 15th, 2021
Perez withdrew due to undisclosed reasonings from his meeting with Matt Schnell. Schnell fought Rogerio Bontorin in a unanimous decision loss that would later become overturned.
Cancellation 7: Askar Askarov
UFC Vegas 33 – July 31st, 2021
Askar Askarov was injured and forced out of his contest with Perez. Perez was removed entirely and given a Schnell for a later date.
Cancellation 8: Matt Schnell (2)
UFC Vegas 36 – September 4th, 2021
Unknown reasonings resulted in a fight between Perez and Schnell being moved to fight at UFC 269 instead.
Cancellation 9: Matt Schnell (3)
UFC 269 – December 11th, 2021
Perez had missed the flyweight mark by a quarter-pound, but it did not matter as Schnell suffered a medical issue resulting in both fighters being scrapped from the event.
Cancellation 10: Matt Schnell (4)
UFC 271 – February 12th, 2022
Perez missed weight by two full pounds and, in turn, saw Schell refuse a catchweight fight. The two were removed from the event. This was the fourth and final attempt to date where a scheduled fight between Perez and Schnell fell through.
Cancellation 11: Askar Askarov (2)
UFC on ABC 3 – July 16th, 2022
Undisclosed reasons led to Askarov’s second removal from a fight with Perez. Two weeks later, Perez would fight Alexandre Pantoja and lose via first-round neck crank.
Cancellation 12: Amir Albazi
UFC Vegas 66 – December 17th, 2022
Perez pulled out of his fight with Amir Albazi due to unknown reasonings. Albazi’s first replacement, Royval, fell through and ultimately fought Alessandro Costa winning by knockout in the third round.
Cancellation 13: Kai Kara-France (2)
UFC 284 – February 11th, 2023
Kara-France suffered a knee injury which, for a second time, forced a fight between he and Perez to be cancelled.
Cancellation 14: Manel Kape
UFC on ESPN 43 – March 25th, 2023
While warming up for UFC on ESPN 43, Perez suffered a seizure and forced out of his fight. In turn, Kape was also pulled from the card.
Although the reasonings differ and which corner was faced directly with issue, nothing seems to be working out Perez.
His current UFC run has been faced with two consecutive first-round submission losses: the title shot against former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 255 in late-2020, and the subsequent to Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 277 in the summer of 2022. Perez’s last win came over Jussier Formiga in June of 2020 at UFC 250 earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus with his first-round stoppage utilizing leg kicks.
After a career marred with cancellations, we can only hope that the tides change immediately for Perez if he plans on returning to MMA competition. If, however, he opts towards stepping away entirely, we know it could only be for the best.
We at MMASucka wish Perez a speedy recovery after his medical emergency over the weekend.