Alex Caceres (7-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) didn't get exactly what he expected in his UFC on FUEL TV 4 fight with
Damacio Page, but in true Bruce Lee fashion, he quickly adapted to the situation and earned victory in impressive fashion.
"Bruce Leroy" planned on a standup war with Page, but he quickly found himself in a grappling battle as his opponent favored the takedown over trading bombs on the feet.
And while there were a few stressful moments on the floor, Caceres said his new-found focus on patience pushed him through to victory.
"I was in a search for knowledge and a search for truth and a search for myself," Caceres told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "The closer I get to myself, the closer I understand what I need to do and who I am. Being this calm, relaxed fighter, very docile in a sense, is where I need to be at – taking my time, being patient and just waiting for the right opportunities."
Caceres looked initially as if he was going to be a little too patient, working from his back after an early takedown and allowing Page to control the fight from top position. While Page's menacing power can change the course of a fight at any moment, Caceres said he was never too concerned.
"I was expecting a standup battle from
Damacio Page," Caceres said. "Then again, when we went to the ground, it didn't feel like I was in trouble. None of the blows were really solid. I felt very comfortable, very relaxed. I knew he was going to blow his load sooner or later.
"He was throwing wide, so I saw the opportunity for the triangle, which is why I threw it so many times. Eventually, when I knew he wasn't paying attention and when he was a little bit tired, he was going to throw maybe one sloppy one, and I was able to slip that leg in. So I didn't feel like I was really in trouble at all, but it as a good fight."
After missing on a handful of triangle-choke attempts in the opening round, Caceres latched onto the submission in the second. Page felt the choke coming in, but the legs were hooked before he could pull free, and he had a little choice but to tap, ceding the evening's $40,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus to his opponent in the process.
The victory provided a much-needed result for Caceres, who was just 1-3 in the octagon following his run on "The Ultimate Fighter 12." But while a loss may have earned him a pink slip, Caceres can now boast a 2-1 mark since dropping to 135 pounds, and the lone loss in that run came after he was issued a rarely-seen two-point deduction in a February fight with Edwin Figueroa.
Now 24 years old and quickly maturing, Caceres said he's ready to make an impact in the UFC's bantamweight division. It's all about patience, both in and out of the octagon.
"I know I have the abilities and the skills to finish my fight," Caceres said. "I just have to wait for it."