Alex Caceres received an unexpected opportunity after he was booked to take on longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran and one of the most popular fighters of all time, Urijah Faber, at UFC 175 on July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to Alex, the fight came to be after fans on Twitter urged him to ask for the bout. A few phone calls from managers to matchmakers later, and voila, the fight was signed, sealed and delivered.
Admitting he felt he was at least three fights away from facing someone like Faber, Caceres says he isn't going to let this opportunity slip away and plans to take full advantage of it. According to Alex, should he upset Faber in "Sin City," he believes he is the front runner for a bantamweight title fight.
He said as much on a recent guest spot on The MMA Hour:
"Oh yeah. Maybe not right away, but, I think my next fight should be a title fight if I beat Urijah. He was the only one contending for the title two times in a row. I think beating him will prove that I belong in the UFC, let alone in the top 10 and let alone contending for the title."
While "Bruce Leeroy" admits he is going to be thrilled with sharing the Octagon with "The California Kid," he won't be star struck, as he'll be looking to make a statement of his own. According to his timetable, the time to earn a world title fight is now, as he says his combat sports career will end when he's 30 years of age.
That's five years from now.
So come fight night, you can bet he'll put in his best effort to earn a crack at the crown:
"I'm going in there to make it a fight. I'm not going in there to play a gameplan, to play it safe. I'm a risk taker, I'm going to go in there and make it a fight. I'm going to try and finish. if I can't finish, then I'll just try to win. I'm going to put in the effort, I might fail, but I'm going to try more than anybody else does. That's for damn sure."
But will a win for Alex earn him a shot at the 135-pound title?
As is it stands, Caceres is the No. 13 ranked bantamweight in the world, while Faber sits at No. 1 on the official rankings. Regardless of his spot, Caceres is the proud owner of a four-fight win streak -- which would have been five had it not been for a failed drug test -- and has proven to be a formidable foe inside the cage.
He even derailed the Sergio Pettis hype train before it picked up any steam in his last outing at UFC on FOX 10.
But is taking on "The California Kid" a bit too much for Caceres? Or will he be able to shock the MMA world this Fourth of July weekend?