You wouldn’t imagine someone calling a fighter with the second-most fights (29) and most wins (21) inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon a stepping stone, but that’s just what Alexander Hernandez thinks of Donald Cerrone.
Alex will face “Cowboy” this Sat. night (Jan. 19, 2019) at UFC on ESPN+ 1 in Brooklyn, New York, marking “The Great’s” third fight inside the eight-sided cage. And while the 26 year-old is thankful to Cerrone for taking the fight against him, he will be just another pebble he has to crush in order to climb the ladder.
“In my mind, I don’t count myself as an underdog against anybody,” Hernandez recently told MMA Fighting. “I have and I continue to see myself as a champion. Cerrone, just like anyone else, Trinaldo would have been, is just another step in the ladder to the top,” he added.
“I’m not over-concerned, the beauty of it is that he has his notoriety, so I’m grateful for him for taking the fight and helping me boost my career and grow my notoriety. Aside from that, I will treat him like every other stepping stone and crush him like a pebble.”
And just because Cerrone is one of the busiest and most-dangerous fighters in the world doesn’t mean Hernandez will alter his training or go harder in the practice room.
“There’s nothing special in my mind about this matchup and the work goes on. It’s not like, ‘Okay let’s rev up and train even harder.’ I can’t train any harder. I train and nothing changes, it never does. I’m just excited to have the opportunity.”
With a 10-1 mark to his credit including eight straight wins, you can’t fault the young up-and-comer for being confident, but Cerrone is as experienced as they come. Despite a rough stretch since 2017 – going 2-6 – “Cowboy” did look like his vintage self by disposing of Mike Perry in the very first round last November at UFC’s 25th Anniversary show in Denver, Colorado.
And though he’s been in the fight game for nearly 13 years, “Cowboy” isn’t ready to give up his spot anytime soon, which could be a dangerous thing for a man with only two fights inside the Octagon so far.