Alexander Hernandez has officially declared 2020 his ‘Year of Fornication.’
A tough 2019 saw Hernandez (11-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) suffer his first UFC loss, sustain an injury which required surgery, and only compete three times – a non-ideal rate by his standards.
Now in the final stages of recovery from shoulder surgery, Hernandez is itching to return and he has his sights set on a former UFC lightweight champion.
Thursday morning, Hernandez tweeted at Anthony Pettis, challenging him to a fight in February. When speaking to MMA Junkie on Thursday afternoon, Hernandez explained the callout was the first step to him to make up for lost time.
“I’m entering 2020 ready to fornicate,” Hernandez said. “That’s the name of the game. I’m trying to blast off and make this year my year. I think Anthony Pettis is the spark to ignite the rocket for my 2020 ‘Year Of Fornication.’ I just feel like he’s just another good jumping pad for me. I think I’ve got a vast amount of ground to make up for in a short amount of time.”
Throughout his recovery, Hernandez said he’s been in close contact with the UFC. Recently, Hernandez was offered a fight against Pettis in December, but was forced to turn it down as he had not fully recovered from his procedure. The offer set his mental wheels in motion.
“When I had the opportunity to fight him in December, I had to turn it down because of my shoulder,” Hernandez said. “That’s just been my target. I got really excited when they offered me that. I’ve been thinking about nonstop since.
“He’s the candidate to choose, because he’s right on my mind and I’m motivated. He’s obviously an exciting opponent. I’ve watched him forever. The public has watched him forever. He’s made his name in this business and this game for a reason. Just the thought of it is a huge thrill for me.”
Not only does Hernandez view the matchup as stylistically favorable, he wants the world to know he’s not a gun shy, “play it safe and eke out a decision” kind of fighter. The lightweight killer who flattened Beneil Dariush at UFC 195 is still present, Hernandez believes. A fight against Pettis would prove it.
“I definitely want to eradicate the idea that I’m scared or that I’m humbled to a degree that I don’t fight my fight any more,” Hernandez said. “With a fight like this and this kind of opponent, I plan to go out there and starch. I want to bring that murk wagon back around and go toe-to-toe and take Pettis out. There’s not a position or facet in this game that I think he’s better than me at. He breaks. He’s very breakable. And I break things.”
Hernandez perceives the public’s doubt comes from his lone UFC loss. After talking smack to Donald Cerrone in their lead-up to UFC on ESPN+ 1 in January, Hernandez was TKO’d by “Cowboy” in round 2.
Hernandez views the Pettis matchup as being similar to Cerrone. The difference? Hernandez believes he’ll be able to merge his killer instinct and discipline – something fight fans have yet to see from him in the UFC.
“Now having the experience that I have to slow down and breathe to appreciate that wounded animal, I can make the kill,” Hernandez said. “I think that’ll make all the difference. I won’t be so excited by the name or the lights or by the stage. I think that his type of game is really his willingness to throw, his ability to do it, and the flashy style. That’ll make it an exciting fight.
“We both will say we’re going in there to put each other’s heads out, but I guarantee I’ll be the only one going for it. ”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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