With Alex Caceres aka Bruce Leroy's recent win over Damacio Page he may have opened eyes to being a fighter with more than just flash and a cool gimmick. This is a look at his path and a look towards his future and whether or not it looks bright.Caceres has a unique style on the ground and on his feet, he's fast and throws flashy kicks and that flashiness he has on the feet translates in a funky yet exciting ground style.
His Path In The Ultimate Fighter
His journey on the show started with an opening round win over Paul Barrow(3-0) by first round submission , a rear naked to be exact. Next he fought Jeff Lentz(6-2 at the time) and would win the fight just how he won his most recent fight by a triangle choke. He then faced Michael Johnson who used his superior wrestling to stifle and prevent Caceres from using his exciting stand up or ground game. Michael Johnson had a nice size advantage and while its not excuse for Caceres it is a possible reason as to why he looked so bad in that fight. At the end of this season he left the show as the hated young kid who was cocky and over confident in many people's eyes.
First Fight After The Show
He met WEC Veteran Macken Semerzier(5-3), Caceres wouldn't get to show much as he was choked out pretty quickly and didn't disprove the idea that he was just a big mouthed fighter who couldn't back up the annoying trash talk he was spewing on TUF.
Next he fought relative unknown Jimy Hettes (8-0 then) he would once again fall short to a relative unknown prospect in many people eyes. What most didn't know at the time is that Hettes is a legit prospect who has a wonderful ground game, Caceres fought valiantly but would fall to the ground game of Hettes.
Now 0-2 in the UFC and 5-4 overall the general question is why does this kid still have a job, his last shot would be a drop to bantamweight to meet Cole Escovedo(17-8) in what looked like a mismatch that would result in a loss for Caceres and be his departure. Escovedo was on a two fight losing streak but to two top talents although Barao wasn't as well known then as he is now he had a record that spoke for itself
Caceres would dominate every facet of the mma game and embarrass Cole Escovedo by showing a massive improvement on both the feet and on the ground. It was a huge win for Caceres and the biggest of his career and would come at a name at which he absolutely needed it.
Impressive Despite Controversy
He would next meet once beaten Edwin Figueroa(8-1) and was put in trouble early in the fight with a very nice headkick from Edwin. The fight would be fairly close to being stopped but Caceres would survive the round. Unfotrunately after landing a second accidental kick to the groin referee Herb Dean would take away two points away from Caceres would basically be a death sentence to Caceres and his chance of winning a decision. Caceres would battle on and still try to win despite having a very little chance to get the nod for the fight.
The outcome would be a split decision loss for Caceres with two judges scoring it 28-27 against Caceres who would have had the fight won if he hadn't has two points deducted from him.
His Most Recent outing
Now 1-3 in the UFC he would still get another fight(perhaps because he didnt really lose the fight as he was mostly a victim of circumstance) He would get a fight with Damacio Page who at one point was a very talented prospect on a losing streak.
The fight started out bad for Caceres as he would be taken down and held, but he would constantly go for triangles nearly getting one with a few seconds left of the first round. Round 2 rinse and repeat taken down and going for submissions every chance given, he would sink a nice triangle to submit Page and bring his UFC record to 2-3.
The Future for Caceres
Caceres does not have the greatest wrestling or ground game. But he has flashy striking which will probably throw off most fighters and infuriate them, but when they get him down he tries hard for submissions and while the most talented he is talented and has finishing instincts in every aspect of his game.
I think Caceres has a bright future ahead of him, he's young and seems to be improving with every fight, although i believe he desperately needs a move to a bigger camp so that he can tighten up his skills with some of the best in the world.
My Verdict - He may fight for a title won day, at 24 years of age and already showing signs of improvement in every fight he could be a future title challenger because he has an unorthodox ground game and striking game mixed in with killer instinct. A couple more years of experience and he could be deadly.
I would like to hear your opinions on what I said and what you see ahead of Bruce Leroy