UFC Vegas 74’s Alex Caceres hopes to take title from Yair Rodriguez

Alex Caceres talks future after UFC Vegas 74, eyes Giga Chikadze and Yair Rodriguez.

By: Lucas Rezende | 4 months ago
UFC Vegas 74’s Alex Caceres hopes to take title from Yair Rodriguez
June 2, 2023, Las Vegas, NV, LAS VEGAS, NV, United States: LAS VEGAS, NV - June 2: Alex Caceres steps on the scale for the official weigh-ins at UFC Apex for UFC Fight Night - Vegas 74- Kara-France vs Albazi on June 2, 2023 in Las Vegas, NV, United States. Las Vegas, NV United States - ZUMAp175 20230602_zsa_p175_015 Copyright: xLouisxGrassex

It seems as though things have never been going so well for featherweight Alex Caceres in the Octagon as they are right now. After beating Daniel Pineda at UFC Vegas 74’s co-main event and getting to the impressive mark of 7-1 in his last eight outings, it is no surprise that ‘Bruce Leroy’ has big aspirations for the future. With the 34-year-old currently on one hell of a hot streak, he’s got his sights sets firmly on the featherweight elite and the possibility of making a run to the UFC title.

At the UFC Vegas 74 post-fight press conference, Caceres talked about potential next opponents, as well as his hopes for the future of the featherweight title picture. Since it seems unlikely that an immediate title shot would be in his future, however, Caceres is lobbying for another top-flight striking contest. Back in 2020, the Freedom Fighters MMA talent was booked to take on rising phenom Giga Chikadze. That fight never came to fruition, but it’s a booking he wouldn’t mind getting back.

That said, the bigger, long term goal is a fight against a man currently slated to unify the belts at 145. Caceres dropped a 2016 split decision to Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Fight Night 92. Should everything go according to plan, he hopes the ‘Panther’ will walk away from UFC 290 with the undisputed belt, putting him in line for a chance at revenge.

“I know we almost had that Giga (Chikadze) fight fall through a couple times,” Caceres said (transcript via MMA Junkie). “That’s a fight that’s always fun to have. He’s a karate guy, so it’d be fun to fight him. Like I said two times before tonight, I want Rodriguez to win the title so that when I climb those rankings, I get to take it from him. That’s always a fun fight to look forward to because I did have a five-round fight with him down in Utah. He edged me out by a split decision and it was very close. It was very close, too close for me to let it go.”

Alex Caceres wants to climb the ladder fast

Currently sitting at the 15th spot of the UFC official featherweight rankings, Alex Caceres wants to keep on climbing the ladder as fast as possible. Knowing that he is in the best moment of his career, Caceres feels the time to ask for bigger fights is now. Furthermore, entering into his mid-30s, it sounds like he also knows that his prime won’t last much longer. To hear him tell it, he’s hoping to get to a chance at UFC gold with 2-3 more fights.

“Fighting ranked opponents from here on out would be the fastest route to get there, for sure,” Caceres said. “I don’t know how many fights lie ahead of me. I am 7-1 in my last eight outings. That has to count for something. There are people getting rankings off two or three fights, or they’re coming off a loss and getting rankings. I think it’s deserving of me to maybe fight some ranked opponents. Two or three should put me in contention for the title.”

This is the best moment of Caceres’ UFC career

The unanimous decision win over Pineda at UFC Vegas 74 put Alex Caceres (21-13-1 NC) on a two-fight winning streak, with a TKO over Julian Erosa before that, in December 2022. The 34-year-old suffered his last loss in March of the same year, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Sodiq Yusuff.

The defeat to Yusuff snapped Caceres’ longest win streak, which consisted of five straight victories. During that time, Bruce Leroy bested Steven Peterson, Chase Hooper, Austin Springer, Kevin Croom and Choi Seung-woo, with two of the victories coming by way of submission.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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