Hernandez is quietly building an impressive resume in the
Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight division.
The former Dana White’s Contender Series competitor earned his
fourth straight victory at
UFC Fight Night 223, pulling away for a third-round technical
knockout victory over once highly-touted prospect Edmen
Shahbazyan in the evening’s co-main event at the UFC Apex in
Las Vegas. “Fluffy” endured a strong start from his opponent before
overwhelming him with takedowns, submission attempts and
In the aftermath, Hernandez found plenty of room for
“I got hit, so obviously I’ve got to work on head movement,” he
said at the post-fight press conference. “My coaches told me I was
making a couple mistakes when I was moving backward. Just back to
the drawing board. We just come back and we try to perform better
Hernandez was confident that he would eventually be able to impose
his will on Shahbazyan, no matter how long it took.
“I knew it could be either way. It’s a fight, you never know what
to expect. I just went in there ready to try to murder him for
every single round,” Hernandez said. “It doesn’t matter if he wants
to stay in there for three or two, I’m gonna try to break his soul
no matter what.
“Every fight I feel like’s gonna be a hard one,” he added. “When
you get to this level, everyone’s f—ing good. Everybody knows all
the basics, everyone is really good here. He was tough just like
everyone else in the division, but I feel like I’m tougher and I’m
going come to show that every f—-ing time.”
Ultimately, Hernandez’s conditioning made the difference.
Shahbazyan faded badly when his initial push didn’t deliver a
“It’s never comfortable,” Hernandez said. “There’s no such thing as
comfort. We kill ourselves to make weight. This whole thing is
miserable. What’s one more misery? I’ve been through hell plenty of
times. What’s one more (time) going through hell?”
Hernandez began his promotional tenure with losses in two of his
first three appearances but has since turned things around with
wins over the likes of Rodolfo
Vieira, Josh Fremd,
Barriault and Shahbazyan. While he hopes to face a ranked
opponent next, he admittedly doesn’t have a name in mind.
“I honestly barely follow the UFC,” Hernandez said. “Whoever the
f—k is in that top 15, I will fight. So, Uncle Dana, whoever you
want to see me fight, sign me up and I’ll be there.”
According to Hernandez, his philosophy is based on self-belief, so
it doesn’t make sense to follow any potential opponents.
“I’m not here to be a fanboy, I’m here to be the biggest f—-ing
thing in the world,” Hernandez said. “So, I believed in myself, and
I’m just gonna keep focusing on myself. I don’t care what everyone
else is doing. When the time comes, and I have to face them, I will
break their soul.”
‘I’m Not Here to Be a Fanboy’