Alex Caceres on Julian Erosa’s knockout: “It is not so special for me to win fights. To fight is something special for me’


For Alex Caceres, the journey is the destination.

At UFC Vegas 66, Caceres delivered one of the best performances of his career, knocking out Julian Erosa with a head-kick in the first round. The finish earned Caceres his fourth “Performance of the Night” bonus and was an excellent rebound after he lost a unanimous decision to Sodiq Yusuff in March. He isn’t tooting his own drum, even though the performance was excellent.

“I would say, for the fight itself, it doesn’t get necessarily better than that,” Caceres told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. We were able walk out of the fight in round one, did not get touched, had no injuries, and came out with a bonus. It was an excellent performance.

” I can’t claim it was my best performance. I wouldn’t know what my best performance would be. My best performance in the gym would probably be .”

Caceres has been with the UFC since 2011, joining the promotion after The Ultimate Fighter season 12. He’s had his share of ups and downs in the octagon; with a UFC record 15-11 and 1 no-contest, he’s lost almost as much as he’s won. He seems to have gained a unique perspective on fighting and the aftermath.

For Bruce Leeroy, it’s more about doing than winning and losing.

“This was the mindset I tried to attain, and that I still strive to reach all the times,” Caceres stated when asked why he wasn’t celebrating. Because life will continue regardless of what happens. Whether you win or whether you lose, people are going to go back to work tomorrow, and they’re going to go about their own busy lives, so I do want to revel in those moments in the moment, but afterward, to celebrate something you did, have already done, and not celebrating it in the moment is kind of living in the past. Living in the future is to be anxious about what will happen, which I do not want. I just want to go in there just living in the present, and I celebrate every punch, I celebrate every movement that I take, that I’m able to do it, and that is my celebration, the actual action and the deed, not what comes afterward, which is just the result.”

“I revel in my victories but it’s all in the present moment,” Caceres said. “What I’m doing in the moment. To me, every punch is a celebration. It’s strange, I don’t understand. For me to celebrate something that could happen to anybody or that anybody could do — I don’t know. It’s not that special to me to win fights. Fighting is something that I consider very special. To actually see the movement of my body in action, is more than a celebration.

According to Caceres, this is not a new take on life; this is how he’s felt, in one way or another, for his entire career.

“I’ve always had that mindset, even if I didn’t know about it,” he said. “And I can say everybody has that mindset, even if they say that they don’t, that they are goal-oriented. It’s bulls***. … This is how people achieve success and still feel unsatisfied.

“Ask fighters, when they don’t have a fight to battle in. Don’t you hear them talking about how depressing it is, how boring it is? Because they’re focused on just the next big thing. If martial arts was your life and your lifestyle — I’m never bored, because every day I go to train and try something new, I get to do what I love, and I’m involved in that journey. Also, I am never content. Because this is my life, I won’t ever be satisfied. It is not something I do or something I try to do. It’s something that I already do.”

What Caceres is now is highly successful. Caceres has won six of his past seven fights and just cracked the UFC’s top-15 featherweight rankings. At 34-years-old, he believes he’s only getting better.

” I feel like my prime,” Caceres stated. “I’m not aging a bit. I feel younger now than I was before, honestly. I have less injuries, no bumps or bruises, I have more energy, I train like a motherf*****, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I do shark tank round with a bunch of young guys who are all in their 20s or even younger, and I get them all tired within a minute and 30 seconds.

” I don’t think that my pace will slow down any time soon. It’s like something clicked in my brain, but it could be self-belief or self-awareness. I never had that.”