Alex Hernandez is looking to bounce back from a high-profile loss to Donald Cerrone, and he’s learned the right lessons from it to look like a new fighter at UFC San Antonio.
San Antonio, TX — Alex Hernandez got off to a great start in his UFC career, defeating Beneil Dariush and Olivier Aubin-Mercier in his first two appearances. His run was stopped by Donald Cerrone in a high-profile bout on ESPN. Hernandez saw that fight as a necessary wake-up call heading into UFC San Antonio.
“It’s me vs. me, featuring whoever. If it wasn’t Cerrone, it could have been the next guy, just based on the way I was approaching my fights, in this like juggernaut, one round, devastation-type attitude. You start cracking the top ten, it’s bound to happen, if that’s how you approach it. It’s just part of it.”
It was the first loss since 2013 for Hernandez, and now Hernandez is ready to show what he’s learned since tasting defeat.
“I think it’s almost a rebirth of me. Of Alexander “The Great” Hernandez. I think the evolutionary changes I’ve made, the adaptations, those will show, and those will show a tremendous seasoning of my game in the Octagon. The way that I’m moving now, the way that I’m feeling, I have all the same skills, they’ve just been refined, fine-tuned and improved. The way that I’m displaying them now, at this cadence rather than this blow-out pace of like 120-percent of out the gate, having a professional pace to me, it changes everything. It changes absolutely everything. So I’m in a much better place. It’s the week of the fight, I’m within 10 pounds and I’m moving, rounds, and rounds. I’m feeling light, fast as hell, crushing it. I’ve never done that the week of the fight before where I’m so light, so agile, so fast, so strong, and I’m not even breathing. I feel fantastic. It’s all putting the mental and the physical together and just a new approach to my fighting style. I really am in the best place I’ve ever been.”
Francisco Trinaldo is a tough match for anybody, only losing to Michael Chiesa, James Vick, and Kevin Lee since 2014. However, Hernandez sees where he can excel in this fight.
“We like every match with everybody. I’ve never been particular to any kind of style, size, shape. I’m not worrying about anybody. I pride myself on being the most well-rounded, adaptable person in the entire business. Trinaldo’s fine. He’s nothing new. We’ve seen him 1000 times. Flat-footed, heavy-hitting, grindy guy. I can’t really call him a striker per se, can’t really call him a grappler. He’s just a well-rounded solid guy. He carries a lot of the same firepower Dariush carried. He’s a southpaw. I’ve fought plenty of those. It’s me vs. me featuring whoever. Stepping in there with him, I just keep myself composed, I’ll do what I do best, and I’ll dismantle him over three rounds. No problem. There’s nothing new. And he certainly can’t keep up with my movement.”
Hernandez learned his lesson after the Cowboy loss, and knows he’s not going to bulldoze his way to the top. Look for a new-look Hernandez tonight against Francisco Trinaldo.
“That was the thing with the last fight. I know I can watch this guy on his best day and I’m not intimidated. I know his moves. I know his tricks. It’s a matter of me keeping myself like, ‘Hey, don’t wrap it up too quick. Compose yourself, take your foot off the gas, dial it in… don’t just force the kill shots.'”
Check out the rest of Alex Hernandez’s UFC San Antonio Media Day scrum above.