After years of struggling with fighters on his back, Alex Caceres (or Bruce Leeroy, if you will) feels he had the defining moment of his career when he fought off Steven Peterson at UFC San Antonio — with a broken hand.
San Antonio, TX — Bruce Leeroy himself was back in the win column over the weekend at UFC San Antonio. In what served as the featured preliminary fight at the ESPN card, the fighter properly named Alex Caceres went the distance with Steven “Ocho” Peterson in an entertaining scrap that ended in a unanimous decision.
It was a fight that saw Caceres face adversity early on, after breaking his hand in the opening round. “It was weird. I knew it happened, I knew it was a serious thing, but I had to keep fighting,” he told reporters including Cageside Press after the bout. “This guy was going to keep coming after me. He’s a dangerous guy. He keeps walking forward and doesn’t stop, no matter how many times I hit him to the body. I felt it crack, I closed my fist again, then I felt it click.”
Caceres, however, did a good job masking the injury, throwing that damaged limb just often enough. At times, he targeted the body, at least softer than the head. “And then I end up tripping up in the first round, he ended up taking my back. My coaches were yelling, ‘Fight with two hands! Fight with two hands!’ I was just going with one hand because I couldn’t close the other one. That made it very difficult.” Luckily for him, Caceres was able to work his way out of that spot.
“He had it under my neck but I was able to push his elbow up just above my chin and just survive because I knew it was short time. So I knew if I survived there, we’d stand up again and I was going to have to keep on his right side, because I couldn’t throw my left,” he recalled. “I threw it, trying to aim with the bigger knuckles, that’s why the little one is swollen now. I tried not hitting with the smaller knuckles but it landed a few times and it kind of went numb. I just fought through it.”
Escaping Peterson’s back control was a major moment. “That was the defining moment right there, in all of my career to be honest.”
“It was like deja vu, because that’s where I’ve been finished the most, someone taking my back with that body triangle and the rear-naked choke and he was close, I was choking,” Caceres admitted. “Bruce Leeroy” has five rear-naked choke losses in the UFC alone, after all. “It was just a defining moment there. I’m not trying to cover it up with false machismo. I wanted at one point to let him have it, it was already too close. But something else clicked inside of me and said, ‘F*ck this sh*t. We’re getting out of this.’ I was able to turn my hips, start pushing his elbow and felt that fight in me rising and rising. I thought, ‘It’s not going to happen again.’ And I really put it in my head. Like visualization during the actualization of the fight and it really pulled me through.”
Check out the rest of Alex Caceres’s UFC San Antonio post-fight media scrum above.