Occasionally a fighter flies way under the radar. Prospects can emerge from any and all corners of the fight world, and not all of them will be heralded. Such is the case with Miletich Fighting System's bantamweight Ramiro Hernandez Jr. who was added to the UFC rosters today with little fan fair or expectation. While he's spent the bulk of his career at lightweight, he recently moved to featherweight, and will be dropping to Bantamweight for his debut.
At one point, Miletich Fighting was one of the premier camps in MMA, headed by the former UFC champ it hosted fighters like Matt Hughes, Robbie Lawler, Jeremy Horn, and Jens Pulver. More recently it's had ties to Ben Rothwell and Spencer Fisher, and Bart Palaszewski, but it's presence at the top end of the sport has greatly diminished. This isn't all that makes the signing of Hernandez something of a surprise. His record is a little spotty at 14-4, and while he has victories over UFC vets Eric Wisely and Chris Tickle, he has a recent loss to Jeremy Spoon, and has struggled to finish fights in the past year.
Wins and losses aside, Hernandez is a high volume kickboxer who's put a ton of polish on his technique of late. Perhaps it's one of the dangers of boiling fighters down to a collection of "how many fights have they won, and how fast?" But Hernandez may prove to be a diamond in the rough. He's a bit one-dimensional but that one-dimension is superb and comes with great cardio. If he can up his takedown defense and guard game he has the potential to become a divisional staple in the still thin 135 lb division.
An impressive feat for a guy who got started in MMA from a prank phone call by a friend pretending to be Pat Miletich:
Hernandez listened to the message that told him it was from Pat Miletich, the famed Iowan in the MMA world. It said word about Hernandez had spread – about his being beefed up from two years of hard weight training in Muscatine, Iowa – and the caller wanted Hernandez to come to his gym to try training in MMA.
He was thrilled at the idea that he was sought-after. He even woke his parents to let them know he would be trying something new.
Then he called the number from the message. His friends laughed. In continuing to coax him into going into MMA, they had called pretending to be Miletich, hoping it would encourage him to go to the gym. (via Kyle Nagle/MMA Junkie)
Hernandez will be making his debut against Lucas Martins, fresh off a victory over Jeremy Larsen at UFC on FX8. The two are scheduled to fight at UFC on Fox Sports 1: 3 on September 4th in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. To get everyone acquainted, here's a recent fight of his against Kevin Croom. It was ruled a split decision, but anyone with eyes can see the talent Hernandez has to offer at the highest level.