Las Vegas, NV — For the first time in years, Alex Caceres is on a win streak.
Following a win over upstart Chase Hooper at UFC 250, the fighter commonly known as “Bruce Leeroy” has won two straight. He did so under very different circumstances than his last bout, of course. Inside an empty UFC Apex, the UFC’s own facility in Las Vegas.
The coronavirus has kept fans away. Now, it’s just fighters, corners, officials, and UFC employees in the room. Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, however, Caceres (16-12, 1NC) found a point of comparison in the earlier part of his career.
“It was a beautiful thing to be honest. I never really notice the fans anyway,” he said of the silent setting that awaited him Saturday night. “I fought in Japan twice, and it was pretty similar. The crowds, you can’t hear the crowd at all in Japan. They’re very quiet and respectful.”
In the fight itself, Caceres looked as focused as ever — nearly a decade into his UFC career. His confidence appeared at an all time high, as if something had clicked mentally.
“I’m glad you said that because I feel like the only thing that has changed has been mentally,” he told Cageside Press when asked about just that backstage following the fight. “I began to believe in myself. And I began to trust the people that believed in me as well. And it’s been a long time coming.”
“It might not seem so, but ever since I joined the Ultimate Fighter, I had a huge identity crisis. It was very hard for me to be confident in myself,” he admitted. “And I believe that changed since the Singapore fight.” The Singapore fight was a 2017 victory over Rolando Dy.
With that fight, explained Caceres, “I began to believe in my power again, I began to believe in my skills. And I began to look back on my entire career and all my life’s endeavors. And I began to appreciate where I came from and how far I came along — and once I realized that, I knew I had nothing to lose. I just had to enjoy myself.”
At a virtual post-fight scrum later in the evening, Caceres told us when he hopes to fight next. “I want to be on the first Fight Island fight. I’m ready. Making that quick of a turnaround, whenever we’re going to go to Fight Island, I gotta be there.”