Although Alex Caceres was handed his first defeat in six fights at UFC 175, as he was tapped out by perennial contender Urijah Faber, the bantamweight’s feeling pretty good about how things are going these days.
While a win over Faber would have been massive, Caceres was a huge underdog heading into the bout, despite the fact he was 4-0, with 1 no contest, heading into the July 6th scrap.
Up next, “Bruce Leeroy” is set to take on established vet Masahiro Kanehara at UFC Fight Night 52 this Saturday in Saitama, Japan. In a recent interview with UFC.com, here is what the charismatic Caceres had to say about his loss to “The California Kid.”
“I definitely look back at the fight and know that I could have done better if I let go some of the respect I had for Faber,” Caceres said. “I didn’t feel like I was being overpowered or anything, but I was definitely enjoying myself just a tad bit too much rather than fighting my fight. I was pretty star-struck to have Faber in front of me, trying to hit me. But other than that, it was a great learning experience. I know how to win for the next time around. It made me grow as a person, a fighter, and a martial artist. I was definitely able to let go a lot of things – a lot of anxiety, a lot of the fears, and the hype that people might bring into the cage with them. Because in all honesty, Faber’s great, he’s a legend and a veteran of the sport and he is good at what he does, but fighting him made me realize that he was just another guy.”
That’s an interesting take on the bout, and other fighters have relayed similar sentiments after they’ve faced a top tier competitor. Although some Faber boosters might take offense to the comments, or think Caceres is just making excuses for the loss, there’s no denying the bantamweight’s come a long way since he made his UFC debut.
It will be interesting to see how he performs against Kanehara, who is no joke, even though mainstream fans here in North America have likely never heard of the former Sengoku champ.
The only loss Kanehara has incurred in seven fights, and since 2011, came against Toshiaki Kitada in Apri, and that was by DQ.
During Kanehara’s career he’s defeated the likes of Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Michihiro Omigawa and Chan Sung Jung. So, if Caceres gets by Kanehara, it will be another notable addition to his resume.
UFC FN 52 will be hosted by the Saitama Super Arena and will feature Mark Hunt taking on fellow heavyweight contender Roy Nelson. That fight ladies and gentlemen, as the words ‘thrilling slugfest’ written all over it….
In addition, the September 20th event will feature Takanor Gomi vs. Myles Jury (which could be a doozy), Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Amir Sadollah (another “FOTN” possibility) and Miesha Tate vs. Rin Nakai (who is making her Octagon debut).
The big question is, however, how many folks are going to stay up through the night to watch the event live on UFC Fight Pass? Show of hands?