This is a time of firsts for Mexican star Miguel "El Alacran" Berchelt. The former WBC super featherweight world champion is now campaigning as a lightweight and will begin his quest to become a two-weight world champion Saturday against Jeremiah Nakathila in the 10-round main event at Resorts World Las Vegas.
Berchelt also moved his training camp from Mexico to Las Vegas to work with a new head trainer, Jorge Capetillo. The Nakathila bout will be his first since his title reign ended via brutal knockout at the hands of Oscar Valdez in February 2021. Berchelt (38-2, 34 KOs) made six successful defenses of the title he won in January 2017, and he hopes the Nakathila fight is the start of a fruitful lightweight campaign.
Berchelt spent camp training alongside UFC star Brandon Moreno, the first Mexican-born champion in the organization's history. He ran the Mount Charleston roads and had access to more world-class sparring than ever before. This is what Berchelt had to say as he readies to tackle the lightweight elite.
"This will be a great comeback. I am very happy and excited to be the first athlete to bring a sporting event to Resorts World Las Vegas. I am ready to make my debut at 135 pounds against a great opponent like Jeremiah Nakathila. I'm going to put on a spectacular show for my people, and I'm sending a message to the lightweight division. They must contend with me!"
"My goal is to become world champion at lightweight. It will not be easy because I know that at 135 pounds there are a lot of great fighters. Most importantly, I have the desire and the potential to be crowned once again as world champion."
About training alongside the first Mexican champ in UFC history
"It motivated me to train with Brandon Moreno. The truth is that he is a great person, and he has done amazing things to raise the Mexican flag very high. Right now, we are training together, and I feel very happy to be his training partner. We are both working hard to continue representing Mexico with great pride."
About moving his training camp to Las Vegas to train with Jorge Capetillo
"The experience of changing my training camp to Las Vegas with coach Jorge Capetillo has been very good. In this city, there are many champions, and I think that God brought me here for a reason. There are many styles of sparring partners, which I was not able to find in Mexico. It has also been a great experience to run up Mount Charleston. I think all these changes are for the best, and we are ready to return to the ring with a big win!"