Las Vegas, NV – After a rough 2022 UFC featherweight, but part-time lightweight, Alex Hernandez took a short notice opportunity and turned it into a victory when he defeated Jim Miller at UFC Vegas 69 on Saturday night.
“Cloud 9. I haven’t felt this elated after a victory in like, man it feels like since my debut so I’m up there. I’m high on it right now I feel good. I feel really good,” Hernandez told Cageside Press among other media.
“Man I’ve been my worst enemy. I feel like I’m the only one who’s defeated myself in the octagon. It’s been a road to get here. My coaches, I’ve had some really long hard talks, and I felt like I proved a lot to myself, and even to Jim’s corner because I know when his ass was blitzing me they thought that was going to be it.”
Miller did put the pressure on Hernandez during the fight which his corner felt like was the beginning of the end for Alex.
“(They thought) that I was going to fold on that. I told my corner in between rounds he’s going down, I’m going up, I’m going to break his ass. I’m not folding. That was really important to me to show myself, to show the organization, to show the world that I’m not this one-round hitter,” Hernandez said.
“Kudos to Jim because I cracked the sh*t out of him with probably four hard shots that I thought were going to be it. I just tried to exercise patience and not getting overzealous to close the show, but he’s tough. I’m extremely proud to get a win over a legend like Jim Miller.”
The win over Miller showed a change in Hernandez’s normal fight style of trying to force a finish as quickly as possible. He credits the change to his coaches, his friends and family…and a little bit of self-evaluation to put it a certain way.
“Self-loathing. So mad at myself and I wanted to redeem because I owed to myself, I owed it to my coaches, I owed to my team, my family. Anyone that puts so much investment in me and the way I’m losing these fights isn’t fair to any of them, and myself,” said Hernandez.
“The need for redemption, you know, that’s where I credit that.”
Coming away with a win when his team stuck with him through the toughest times was very important for Hernandez.
“It’s super emotional. Like I said I haven’t felt a high like that off a victory in a while because I’m not new to this. That was important. That meant something to me, that meant something to my team, meant something to all of us. Some wins…you can catch a quick W and everybody likes getting out of there, but some wins you find something in yourself,” Hernandez said.
“You’ve got the breakdown and break through kind of mentality. There’s sometimes when you leave a piece of yourself in that cage. There’s times where you take a piece and you grow out of that cage. And tonight we grew. Tonight we grew in a really big way and so I know my team’s really proud, I’m really proud, and man that’s the kind of momentum we want to start this year off.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Alex Hernandez above.