Alex Caceres’ five-fight winning streak has been a bit under the radar, but the Florida native has been winning quietly and in impressive style on his way to a Top 15 featherweight showdown with Sodiq Yusuff at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Ankalaev.
The 33-year-old has been in the UFC since 2011, appearing on The Ultimate Fighter all the way back in 2010. He’s had moments in his UFC career where he just wasn’t quite able to get over the hump and really breakthrough, but “Bruce Leeroy” feels like he found the secret to do so in 2022 - self-belief.
“I can’t stress it enough; saying you believe in yourself is easy to say but it’s hard to do,” Caceres told UFC.com. “It started at my fight in Singapore [a 2017 TKO win over Roland Delorme] and since then that belief started coming in flashes. In the past five camps I’ve been feeling that consistently. I’ve been rising to the level consistently, and there is no goal or end point for me.
“I’m being open to my progression and believing in it.”
And more importantly, it’s working. Caceres has finished two of his opponents by rear naked choke during his win streak, including a crazy bout with SeungWoo Choi his last time out. Caceres faced plenty of adversity in that fight but stayed the course and relied on his bread-and-butter grappling prowess to get the win.
“We knew what we were doing and knew what we wanted, and we knew that he would be aggressive,” Caceres said of his fight with Choi. “We knew that we were the better grappler so when the opportunity arises, we could take advantage of it.”
Getting comfortable with every facet of his game is part of the reason why Caceres is on the best run of his career and why he believes he matches up so well with Yusuff.
“I see similarities from my last fight with Choi [with Yusuff],” Caceres said. “I do see me where I found success with Choi, finding success with Sodiq. A lot of opportunities will be there.
"I feel like my strikes are there and my grappling will be there. Everyone is going to say they are confident; all I can tell you is I do see these things and I’m going to try to achieve them and do the best that I can.”
Tough opponents aren’t something that’s new for Caceres. He’s faced Urijah Faber, Yair Rodriguez, and Kron Gracie in the Octagon, and if he gets past Yusuff, only big names await him in the stacked featherweight division.
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Main events and high-profile fights aren’t something that Caceres is concerning him with, though; he’s been around for so long that he’s just happy to be challenging himself to the fullest. His focus is performing to the best of his ability against Yusuff.
The Nigeria native is known as an aggressive fighter, typically stalking his opponents, and using his power and pressure to overwhelm opponents. Caceres is quick to acknowledge Yusuff’s strengths and points out that the outcome of his fights usually come when opponents crumble under the pressure.
Thanks to Caceres’ wealth of experience and growing confidence, he is just determined to find his mental sweet spot and stick to what helped him earn the nickname “Bruce Leeroy.”
“He’s another man and so am I,” Caceres said. “It’s all mental. You can put yourself in the moment no matter where you are. For me, I’m a fighter for life, whether it’s in the street, in my bedroom waking up at 6am, or in the Performance Institute.”
“I am ready to fight and go all the way.”
UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Ankalaev took place on Saturday, March 12, 2022, live the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.