UFC St. Louis: Alex Caceres Recalls Backyard Fighting Days

“Bruce Leeroy” Alex Caceres returns to action at UFC St. Louis this Saturday, having built up a 7-2 record in his last nine fights.

Caceres (21-14, 1NC) will enter the match-up off a loss to Giga Chikadze, and is now taking on Sean Woodson in a bout many see as having Fight of the Night potential.

“If I’m involved in any fight, I feel like it has the potential to be Fight of the Night,” Caceres exclaimed during this week’s UFC St. Louis media day. “I tend to try to make it a show. I would have to say, without taking anything away from anybody, it’s going to be all about me when it comes down to it.”

Woodson will be the hometown favorite in the fight, but Caceres doesn’t mind playing the role of villain. It doesn’t matter to him in the least, it seems.

“It doesn’t matter to me. A lot of people don’t want me to win anyway, in general,” he stated. “So I just don’t pay attention to that sort of stuff. At the end of the day, it’s just two men in a cage.”

Earlier in the day, opponent Sean Woodson described the pair as having “funky,” “weird” styles and at least to some extent, Caceres, agreed. “We’re both very rangy, we like to fight on the outside,” said Caceres. “It’s going to be a battle of wits when it comes to trying to close the distance and making something happen.”

The man known as “Bruce Leeroy” also addressed what he sees as the artistic side of fighting, and believes it can apply to any undertaking. “I believe we’re all artists, no matter what we do. And when we embrace the artistic side of us, then we can actually perform at whatever thing that we’re doing at the highest level possible, because it’s done with love and it’s not done for any other thing.”

When Alex Caceres got his start in fighting, he was among those, like Jorge Masvidal, who participated in backyard fighting, mainly in the Miami area. Asked about the scene there, Caceres, who admitted that he hasn’t gone back and watched himself, explained that “that’s just Miami man.”

“Before I was doing that I used to have— I was fresh out of high school. I’d just turned 18. I was trying to go professional in mixed martial arts.” Even before that, he recalled, “when I was 16 in high school, we’d have underground fights.” Fighters from rival schools would bet against one another, and end up fighting in private. “These were things that were going on all the time.”

Leeroy was eventually introduced to backyard fighting by a promoter connected to the late Kimbo Slice. “Those fights were kind of like, not bragging right fights but having control over what section of the area you lived in. So they wanted me to represent them, because we used to spar a lot and they were like ‘oh man you’d do really well out here.’ It’s just a Miami thing.”

Watch the full UFC St. Louis media day appearance by Alex Caceres above.