Alex Caceres knew nothing about featherweight prospect and rising star Yair Rodriguez when he was asked to fight him in the main event of UFC Fight Night 92.
Now, just a few days away from the bout, Caceres says he knows a little bit about the man he'll be trading punches with on Saturday night. However, Caceres' assessment of Rodriguez is quite different than most fans.
"I know he's a, I've seen some of the fights, and I wouldn't say he's unpredictable," Caceres told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I would definitely say he's explosive and, I don't know, not necessarily unpredictable, but definitely explosive and crafty. I would say explosive and flashy."
The 23-year-old Rodriguez has constantly surprised fans with spinning leg kicks, 360 head kicks, and many more wild fight moves. Yet, Caceres says Rodriguez is not unpredictable, as he's trained with other martial artists with similar skill sets.
"I sparred and train with a lot of guys that are black belts in taekwondo, and that did a lot of kyokushin, or you know, like that they do have those explosive types of kicks that come from different angles," Caceres said. "So to me, it's not necessarily unpredictable, to me is they're good and they're powerful. They're flashy, but not necessarily unpredictable. Like, I wouldn't say you don't see it coming, it just comes fast and hard."
Even though Caceres has also made a name for himself in the MMA world with his unique striking, he feels that his skills are not being promoted properly leading up to this fight, only his opponents.
"With me, you know, like you've [Helwani] seen me fight, I think I throw more unpredictable, elusive and flashy punches, kicks and everything, but in the commercial you only see me throwing two or three piece combinations at my opponents," Caceres said. "And I was wondering, ‘Hey, where is my 360 kicks? Where is my double kick? Where is my even double punch? Where is my spinning kicks and my other, you know what I mean?'
"It seems like I don't know how to do that, and they show me just boxing really, so it's obvious, to me at least, that's what it seems like who they're trying to promote as the better fighter or the more unpredictable fighter, I would say."
Regardless of how Caceres feels he's being promoted in the build up to his first UFC main event, Caceres is just concerned with testing himself inside the octagon.
"At the end of the day, I really don't care what they say or think about me," Caceres explained. "At the end of the day, I am who I am, so I have nothing else to prove to nobody but myself. When I get in there, it's a test for myself.
"I mean, I'm always going to catch a lot of flat from fans or from other people. Everybody rides the bandwagon. From my experiences, the same people that like you in one fight, the minute you're fighting one guy, and the way they promote it, you now, they're like, 'Oh my god, you're going to f*cking die', you know. And I'm just like, 'Okay, it's whatever', so I take everything with a grain of salt always."