Heading into their lightweight fight, which closed out the prelims of UFC Brooklyn on ESPN, Hernandez declared his veteran opponent was simply a “jester in the way” on his way to “kingship.”
But a little less than two rounds into the contest, Cerrone was seen being peeled off a reeling Hernandez after slapping in a thunderous head kick onto the 26-year-old.
Keeping his chin up, Hernandez took to his Instagram to congratulate Cerrone and reflect on his violent loss.
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Congratulations @cowboycerrone. You taught me something invaluable in defeat. Perhaps the best/worst thing that ever happened to me was a 42 second knockout debut. I go into every fight feeling untouchable and expecting a repeat of the same occurrence. I prepare myself in the moments prior for an execution in the first round and not a fight. I need to learn to fight. I need to address my approach. I brought the fight to Cerrone and where he made adjustments, I did not. Experience is a costly bitch. Thank you @ufc @danawhite @seanshelby for an amazing opportunity and belief in me. I will not let this go in vain. The triumph of adversity is what makes a man and defines legends. I will be be back. And you will know I mean what I say next time you see me. This is good pain.
For Hernandez (10-2), this setback not only marked his first loss inside the Octagon but also snapped his eight-fight win streak, which dated back to 2013. “The Great” previously stopped Beneil Dariush in his UFC debut before earning a decision over Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC), on the other hand, extended his record for most total wins (22) and finishes (16) in UFC history while cementing himself atop the list for most post-fight bonuses (16).