Sometimes a loss can be a blessing in disguise, and in the case of Alexander Hernandez, it appears that his early 2019 defeat at the hands of Donald Cerrone was just that.
One of the things that makes Hernandez so fun to watch and follow is his undeniable confidence. Coming into UFC San Antonio, that confidence is as present as ever, but Hernandez’ approach is different. Hernandez firmly believes that his loss to Cerrone at UFC Brooklyn can be attributed to a lapse in composure.
“That was a big eye opener for me and I told my coaches that if it wasn’t this fight, maybe it could have been the next one,” Hernandez said. “It’s just because of the approach that I had. It’s not a lack of skill, speed, strength, talent, anything like that. I still believe I’m the better fighter it was a lack of experience and approach. I needed to compose myself. I need to exercise patience and poise.”
Hernandez took the lesson to heart.
He started thinking about the psychology behind training and fighting. He altered his daily routine, focused on his breathing and even changed the way he drives. Hernandez has “rewired his software,” and he knows that renewed laser focus makes him more dangerous than ever.
“You can expect a revised fighter certainly taking in the experience from the last fight, executing it with poise and all the same attributes, all the same power, the same speed and the same technical prowess,” Hernandez said. “But this time with a veteran’s poise. So it will be a slow dismantling over three rounds.”
The opponent that Hernandez plans to take out is the tough Francisco Trinaldo. And he has a pretty sound idea of how he is going to do it.
“I think my movement is eons above what he can comprehend and his stiff rigidness will be the death of him,” Hernandez said. “Where I would [normally] go in and go for that kill shot, this time I will destroy him over the course of three rounds because I know he is durable. This will be a game of patience and poise, but I know any shot that I land could separate him from consciousness.”
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Hernandez and Trinaldo will be fighting on the main card of the event, which is set to air on ESPN Saturday at 9pm/6pm ET/PT. Expect a big hometown welcome for Hernandez, who fights out of San Antonio.
It’s been five years since the Octagon has stopped in the city, and it was an event which Hernandez attended and told himself he would be participating in the next time the UFC came to the Alamo city.
On Saturday, that day will finally be here.
“Serendipitously, time has come about and I’m on this card and I’m in my arena,” Hernandez said. “It’s everything.”
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews