UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Erik Perez was a fairly high-profile free agent score for Bellator in 2019.

But after losses to Toby Misech and Josh Hill in his first two fights in the promotion, on the heels of five straight wins – including three in the UFC – before he came on board, it was looking like maybe the once highly touted prospect wasn’t going to pan out.

But at long last, Perez (20-8 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) got back on track this past Friday with a unanimous decision over Blaine Shutt (8-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) for his first Bellator win. Perez said he was grateful to finally get over the hump – and that he did it just a couple days after Cinco de Mayo made the celebration extra special for him.Video: UFC 261 ‘Countdown’ for Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2

Check out Perez’s full post-fight news conference in the video above.