Following a close win at UFC San Antonio, lightweight Alexander Hernandez singled out strategy and mental preparation as keys to victory.
San Antonio, TX — UFC San Antonio took place this past weekend as the promotion returned from a 5-year absence in the Alamo City. If that event served as a homecoming party, then San Antonio’s own Alexander Hernandez was the homecoming king, making his city proud with a victory over Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision. Hernandez attributes the victory to his team and coaches, who helped him develop a solid strategy to beat the grisly veteran. “The Great” stuck to his guns and the strategy was successful, even if by a narrow margin.
At the open workouts, days prior to the fight, Hernandez promised the assembled media that composure was the biggest upgrade to his arsenal in preparation for this fight. He kept his promise. After the big win, he said “This is the most composed I’ve ever felt mentally and physically. I implemented a game-plan that we rehearsed and rehearsed,” he said. “It was kind of a scary moment after the Cerrone fight because it wasn’t a matter of improving physically on skills or strengths, it was about rewiring my software. How do I change my entire demeanor, my entire approach? How do I become this composed, patient fighter?”
In his first three UFC fights, Hernandez was anything but that. He stormed out of the gate to face a top-15 ranked opponent in Beneil Dariush, starching the veteran UFC lightweight in less than a minute. He was a big underdog in that fight, as well as his sophomore outing against Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Again, his approach was ruthless aggression and forward pressure, and it worked. He won the fight despite droves of fans and media members who were adamant that he would be exposed as a fluke and outclassed by the Canadian prospect.
The third time out was most definitely not the charm when the signature style of Hernandez backfired, earning him his first ever TKO loss, which was only his second overall career loss. But he kept his eyes on the prize. “I didn’t lose an ounce of confidence from that fight,” he said. “If it wasn’t Cerrone it could have been the next guy, it was the way I was approaching my fights.” For those who are bothered by the brash attitude of the young Alex Hernandez, don’t expect anything to change. He explained his personality to the media, and as usual, he didn’t mince words. “I’m not putting on any fronts. I’m not trying to be a good guy or a bad guy. I’m just being me. You can interpret that however the f*ck you want.”
So where does Alexander “The Great” go from here? “Always up baby, always up. Up the totem pole. I don’t care about size, shape or style. I don’t care about any names. It’s always me versus me, featuring whomever. Let me keep climbing, that’s it.”