Alex Caceres is never angry at an opponent that he doesn’t know in the Octagon. In fact, he likes them.
“You’ve never done anything wrong to me and I honestly like you because without you we wouldn’t be doing what I love to do in the first place,” Caceres said. “I like the freedom of expression that this allows me to do.”
His creative side stems from watching anime and playing video games, which are two things that help him develop new moves to try on his opponents. Caceres’ recent inspiration comes from a video game called “For Honor.”
Being able to get creative and try different things is an advantage that he believes will put him on a different level during his matchup against featherweight SeungWoo Choi at UFC Fight Night: Costa vs Vettori.
“I’m creative, I allow myself to get creative,” Caceres said. “I don’t take things personally, so I’m not just trying to hit you because you hit me. That’s where I would see me having the advantage, the versality that I have.”
The 33-year-old is making his 25th walk to the Octagon this weekend and enters the bout with a four-fight win streak. Since making his debut back in 2011, Caceres has gone through the ups and downs of fighting with a mixed bag of results. But as he looks to improve in one of the best stages of his career, “Bruce Leeroy” is feeling even better than he did 10 years ago.
“I feel more well-rounded, feeling more comfortable with the level of competition around me, even the fights that I lose, or win, it doesn’t matter,” Caceres said. “Of course, it’s great to win and I don’t feel as great when I lose, but I do notice the growth in my technique, or just my maturity and calmness in there, as well. I always try to take something positive away from the fight, so I don’t lose the enthusiasm for it.”
Through his last four victories, Caceres has been able to showcase his ability to be dominant on the ground and is confident in his offensive jiu-jitsu and overall abilities as a fighter heading into Saturday’s bout.
“It has made my striking more comfortable to where I’m not focused on if he might take me down,” Caceres said. “I can unload and change levels if I want to and stay calm in those crisis situations where the person might have my back or I’m on the floor on my back or up against the fence. I’m not panicking; I’m going through the motions correctly because we’re practicing it more.”
His opponent, Choi, steps into the fight with a 10-3 record and is coming off an impressive knockout victory over Julian Erosa back in June. It was Choi’s sixth knockout of his career, and the victory extended his win streak to three.
This means that someone’s win streak will end on Saturday.
“Not to take anything away from him, but I think I have more experience in the fight game and I think I have more tools to beat him,” Caceres said. “Not to say that he doesn’t have a chance; he definitely has a chance. He is a strong cat. He hits people and he hits them hard. If I lean the wrong way, I might walk into something, who knows. I have great striking ability, and a good ground game and I just feel like I’m more well-rounded. He’s going to have deal with my pressure and my length.”
Caceres has earned three Fight of the Night bonuses, as well as two Submission of the Night bonuses. There’s no doubt he is an exciting fighter to watch, but that doesn’t really matter to Caceres. In fact, he doesn’t even really care about winning or losing.
“I just want to fight. It is definitely harder to lose than it is to win,” Caceres said. “It is definitely sad sometimes when you lose, but personally I just want to fight. I don’t want to stop. You won’t see me holding a guy down to waste time. If I’m on the ground and one thing isn’t working, I’m going to switch to another thing. I like to keep moving. I’m not thinking about the fans, honestly, it is just the way that I do things. I have a lot of energy and I like to do it.”