"I want to retire at 30," Caceres (8-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps
). "My goal, ultimately, is to be better tomorrow than I am today. It's a growing experience as a person. I don't want to define myself as just a fighter. I don't think that we should.
"This is not it for me. If anything, this is a small stepping stone that will elevate me to my true purpose and goals in life. Fighting is just one small aspect of my life, and I choose not to define myself just with fighting."
It's an intriguing philosophical approach from the former wild child who has matured significantly during his six-fight stint in the UFC. But Caceres insists it's one he believes to the core of his being and will adhere to when the time comes.
"Most people say, 'Oh, you'll see when you're 30,'" Caceres said. "No, I know when I'm 30 I don't want to do this anymore. Fighting is for the young. Even though at 30 I'm fairly young and in my prime, while I'm in my prime there's so many other things I want to do in life. I want to go and chase those dreams, as well.
"I don't want to be all beaten up by the time I'm 35 and still trying to get one more fight. That's just not me."
It's interesting to note that Caceres' stance has been developed during the midst of a two-fight octagon win streak. Were these the words of a fighter certain for a release from the promotion, it might be understandable, but Caceres' consecutive wins are the first such back-to-back results of his UFC career.
Caceres said there's a simple explanation.
"I personally do not like fighting," Caceres said. "I like martial arts, and I love training every day. I like to teach people, and I love to learn. Fighting is just a way to show what I'm doing is correct, just and righteous, and it works so that when I teach it to people I won't be giving them bad water."
Caceres fights this weekend at UFC on FUEL TV 8, which takes place Sunday at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and airs in the U.S. on Saturday night due to the time change. He meets promotional newcomer Kyung Ho Kang (11-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the night's Facebook-streamed preliminary card, which precedes the evening's FUEL TV-televised main card.
A victory would give Caceres a three-fight win streak and solidify his standing as a legitimate prospect at 135 pounds with a 4-1 mark in the division. But truth be told, Caceres isn't all that interested in such talk. In his mind, there are much more important things to consider.
"It's not about winning," Caceres said. "It's the performance. That's what I've always held dear. As long as I'm getting better in every fight, that's the only goal I'm looking at. I'm not looking at goals far in the future.
"I'm living for the walk down the street, not what's around the corner. As long as I'm trying to get better, that's the only thing I can hope for. As long as I can grow every day as a person, then I've won."