Alex Hernandez is making his UFC debut this Saturday Night at UFC 222 as a late notice replacement for Bobby Green, with the opponent this weekend being Beneil Dariush.
Despite being a late replacement, a confident Hernandez had always been training for when a UFC debut would finally happen.
“I made a post (on social media) saying I was signing a UFC contract…its funny how it all plays out, its a crazy, crazy world. One moment you’re thinking about fighting next to a mechanical bull at a f*cking western dance floor and the next is you get called to (Las) Vegas. Its just the way that the business goes, but I’ve been lining up my preparations so well. I trained harder and prepared more so than I feel like more people in the UFC do or so in my head. I’m a workhorse, I always have been. I quit my job last you because I had a quarter life crisis and thought ‘man I need to sh*t or get off the pot.’ I need to put everything into this (MMA) and I do devote a ton of energy, it was just draining trying to balance four hour training days and ten, sometimes twelve hour workdays. I was like I gotta stop and get some rest, I became more efficient and more like a locomotive in just the sense of putting it all together. I’m just a machine with the training and the diet and the recovering ability and everything that we’re putting together. The culmination of all that is a sh*t load of luck and my manager coming in super clutch and securing this deal (with the UFC). It just kind of happened, we were lined up this Sunday (Fury FC event) for a different opponent. I don’t train for any opponent ever, my opponent for my last camp man, I had three guys pull out, every single week was a new surprise. Week three…this guys out, f*ck okay, week two a new guy and into that week…a new guy. Then two days ago, we get the call and was asked if I wanted to go to Vegas instead. F*ck yeah, by the way, who am I fighting? I think you might fight Beneil Dariush, OK lets put it on. I train to improve myself everyday and be great at every facet because you have to hit this weight, you know they’re (lightweights) so dynamic. Dariush or anybody, it doesn’t really matter, its a hell of an opportunity,” Hernandez said in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.
Hernandez will also make his UFC debut riding a five fight winning streak and the fighter hasn’t suffered a defeat in almost five years.
The late replacement in Hernandez does have the odds stacked against him at UFC 222, but that hasn’t stopped him from envisioning success on that night.
“You know, its funny because we’re both forward pressing people. Its probably going to be a fight to control the center (of the Octagon), I think he’s going to come forward the way he does…heavy. I’m just going to be more dynamic, more sweat and more precise. That precision is going to kill him, I think that I would be some much more lighter and dynamic. He’s never seen anybody like me, but neither has anybody in the UFC seen anybody like me, especially at this weight class. They’ve seen styles like this at 135 (bantamweight), they’ve never seen someone this fast and dynamic at 155 pounds. Good for Conor (McGregor), but you’re stuck in the mud…a lot of people are. So, being dynamic and as fierce as I am, I’m just going to expose angles that he hasn’t seen…footwork and these tendencies that he gets stuck into. I think that I’ll be able to just exploit and move on and catch him. I am I don’t really care where the fight goes and truthfully, I’m not even going to over study him. He’s just another go and the UFC is just another promoter, I’m not going to over stress anything. He’s not going to take me down, you can’t hold me down. I think if I want to take him down, its going to be a cakewalk because my wrestling is worlds above. I think the stand up is where its really going to highlight and then once those first few shots land, if its not over, then we are going to see where the fight organically wants to flow and that’s what we are going to do. I don’t like to over think any specific game plan because again, we try to be strong everywhere,” says Hernandez.
UFC 222 takes place on Saturday, March 3 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.