In the Octagon, Alex Caceres is one of the best featherweights in the world. With a microphone in his hand, he’s one of the most interesting athletes on the UFC roster.
And he is steadily dropping knowledge each time he speaks.
From describing mixed martial arts with metaphors of calligraphy to explaining how studying the art of yoga teaches embracing one’s individual self as it is in nature, the depths of “Bruce Leeroy” only add to his intrigue.
In a short 15-minute interview with UFC.com on Wednesday Caceres provided a paraphrased quote from writer Alan Watts and three musings to describe how he’s matured during his 12-year-plus UFC career.
“‘I believe it’s OK to be a competent technician,’” Caceres told UFC.com. “That’s who I felt like I was for many years. I had very good technique and skills and I was able to apply them from various angles, but what has changed is that while I am a competent technician, I have been able to let go. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a master, but that’s when you achieve masterful qualities. When you have the technique, and you have the skill and you kind of just let it go… you let it happen.”
Finding that perfect balance of awareness, identity, purpose, and skill has helped Caceres understand himself better than ever. He went on to muse the following:
“Heads and tails are the same coin there are just two separate sides to it.”
“We come out of this world like a flower comes out of the ground.”
“Merge the darkness with the light…Light does not arise without darkness. They mutually arise.”
“That’s what I’ve been able to do,” Caceres said. “Not trying to control everything. My body knows, my mind knows, my spirit knows; it’s only my ego trying to see it through to the end.”
Letting things happen is exactly what Caceres has been doing of late and it’s been working. He’s won six of his last seven and he’s climbed his way into the featherweight rankings. By enjoying the ride and understanding who and what he is, the 34-year-old’s stock has never been higher.
Caceres doesn’t feel like he’s fighting when that door closes. He feels as if he’s observing himself from a third-person view. There is no thought process that he feels in control of.
It might sound strange. And Caceres tends to agree with that.
“It feels like an acid trip,” Caceres laughs. “I don’t take anything personal in there. You can cut me, you can break me down, I can be bleeding. That’s why you see me, even if I’m losing, I don’t get discouraged. I fight tooth and nail to the end because I’m not attached to the pain. I’m not attached to the deficit of points or that I’m falling behind. I’m not attached to the time limit. I’m just there being the action I am performing.”
This weekend, Caceres will take his next trip against Daniel Pineda at UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi. It’s easy to see why the matchmakers put these two together. It’s an all-action fight between two very well-rounded competitors who keep their feet on the gas.
Caceres ran into Pineda earlier in the week and got good vibes from his opponent and he expects the two to deliver at the UFC APEX.
“Honestly, it’s just the person,” Caceres said. “Daniel Pineda seems like that person, like yeah, he’ll come out there and he’ll scrap. Which is always good; I always tend to put on an exciting matchup with those kinds of people. It seems like he’s a tough fighter it seems like he’s game.”
Getting a win over Pineda would set Cacares up for a fight further up the featherweight rankings, and while climbing that ladder is the goal for many fighters, that’s not what is on his mind.
It’s all about testing himself against the best, living in the moment, and putting forth his absolute best effort.
“I made it a point to not be attached to the politics,” Caceres said. “I’m going to fight and I’m going to beat everyone they put in front of me. I’m going to give my 110% good attempt in doing so. Other than that, that’s all I can ask for. I’m walking. I’m breathing. Just do the best I can.
“Give me whoever you want to give me and let me do my best. I’m here for a good time; let’s go ahead and do it.”
UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 3, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!