Alexander Hernandez attributes career setbacks to mental issues: ‘I’m a master sabotage sometimes’

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LAS VEGAS – Alexander Hernandez feels he’s had the hardware to succeed, but maybe perhaps not the software.

The once-promising UFC prospect thinks the career setbacks that have hindered him from achieving the expectations put onto him by the MMA community early into his UFC career trace back to his mental approach to the fight game. Hernandez (13-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC), who debuted in the UFC with a 42-second knockout win over top title contender Beneil Dariush, now finds himself on a two-fight losing streak and 1-3 in his past four outings.

The 30-year-old feels his mental game needs to be addressed if he wants to fight at his full potential.

“It’s never become more evident than now that this is not a physical issue, but a mental issue,” Hernandez told reporters at the UFC Fight Night 219 media day on Wednesday. “So, mentally, I’m really enthusiastic – I’m angry at myself, and I want to get redemption and I’m ready. I’m truly fired up. I’m excited.”

Hernandez returns to the cage this Saturday against veteran Jim Miller (35-16 MMA, 24-15 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 219. He feels he has the tools necessary to get past that caliber of opponent. However, it all comes down to his mentality.

“Man, I’m a master sabotage sometimes,” Hernandez explained. “I’m having these awful dialogues with myself. I’m really working on that, on being more conscious and getting back in that flow state more than anything else and then just kind of finding my rhythm because when I’m there. Man, I’m sick with it.”

Hernandez is coming off a TKO loss to Billy Quarantillo in December. That bout marked his debut at 145 pounds. Although the fight against Miller is being contested at lightweight, Henandez intends to make featherweight his future home.

“Assuming I have a clean bill of health, I want to keep making my way down to 145,” Hernandez said. “If something tasty pops up on my way there, I’ll, you know, be ready to accommodate, but I am trying to make my way into 145.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 219.

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