Las Vegas, NV — There are equipment malfunctions, and then there are equipment malfunctions. It’s the latter — we’re talking about, ahem, male equipment — that Alexander Hernandez experienced while cutting to 145lbs late last year.
Hernandez (13-6) dropped to featherweight for a fight with Billy Quarantillo this past December. The fight didn’t go his way, and the side effects of the weight cut were unfortunate to say the least.
How tough was the weight cut? During Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 69 media day, Hernandez told media outlets including Cageside Press that “it was serious. It was the most locked in and focused I’ve ever been for those, we got 14 weeks’ notice for the diet, really hardcore for about 10 weeks. Really, the entire time dieting, but man, a whole other level for dieting for 10, 11 weeks. Where generally at 55 it would only take maybe five.”
“It was intense. A lot of that, I had an extremely like, I was very underwhelmed with the idea of fighting. A had a real lacklustre feel towards getting into the cage. And I think a lot of it was being too stressed with it, almost too focused for too long.”
Hernandez admits he questioned why he was even doing it while walking out to the cage. It was an inadvertent byproduct of the tedious weight cut. “That’s not a cool place to be when you’re making the walk to the cage. So I had to get that [fire] back.”
While he has that fire, that reason for fighting, back with him, 145 is still the goal. Despite an even more unfortunate side effect that just losing his fire.
Following weeks of strict dieting, “my d*ck didn’t work in the mornings,” Hernandez revealed. “I was pure, I was just gender X, moving through for three months, just on a stead-forward path.”
“Doing that for enough time probably weighs on the brain a little bit. It was tough. Everything was low, everything was depleted. I felt strong though. I felt fast. I felt faster than I’ve ever felt. My conditioning during the camp was fantastic,” Hernandez continued. “I just needed to keep the mental game, I needed to remember why I was doing all this pain and struggling for, and not let myself get too burned out in the process of camp, and not be mentally ready to fire on a fight night.”
And so while he’ll face Jim Miller at lightweight this weekend, featherweight remains the goal.
“I’d like to, assuming I’ve got a clean bill of health, keep making my way back down to 45,” explained Hernandez. “If something tasty pops up at 55 on the way there, I’ll be ready to accommodate, but I am trying to make my way to 45.”
Hopefully without any equipment malfunctions in future.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 69 media day appearance by Alexander Hernandez above.