At UFC 257, Conor McGregor suffered a second-round TKO loss at the hands of Dustin Poirier. After the bout, analysts and fighters across the world chimed in to share their explanations for what went wrong for McGregor and what he needs to do moving forward. There were also legions of heartbroken McGregor fans who were disappointed to witness their hero suffer a defeat upon his big return to competition. In the case of Alex Hernandez, he falls into both of the above categories.
“I wanted him to win. I’m a huge McGregor fan,” Hernandez admitted in an exclusive interview with MMA News. “But I’m not surprised, especially when I started watching the performance. It’s kind of like, OK, he came in in a way that I was like, ‘Shit, he might just take Poirier out in the first few minutes because if there’s any son of a bitch to do it, it’s McGregor. He’s got such iconic hype and also being in the guy’s head, that guys will wither to him just based on the hype alone. And then, no doubt this man cracks.
“And so he was looking so good and had him rattled and shaken, and then he just kept going back to the well. And he’s kind of become all the things that he was talking shit about on his way up about kinda ‘stuck in the mud,’ a little single-dimensional. He lost his versatility. He used to do all these dynamic strikes that would be a funnel to the left hand. And then he was going just gritty, grittily to the well with the one-two, with the shovel one-two, and getting longer, and heavier, and more extended.”
Hernandez would then discuss what Poirier did well with the leg kicks and combinations that would ultimately spell McGregor’s demise. As an aside, Hernandez’s fanhood of McGregor could certainly help explain some of the trash talk and McGregor-like predictions he made early on in his UFC career. Unfortunately for Hernandez, his showing against Donald Cerrone was the polar opposite of McGregor’s after Hernandez made such overconfident predictions during the build-up to his 2019 bout against Cerrone.
For his next fight, Hernandez will look to make it two straight wins after picking up Performance of the Night over Chris Gruetzemacher last October when he takes on Thiago Moises next Saturday at UFC Vegas 20.
Do you agree with Alexander Hernandez? Has Conor McGregor become as “stuck in the mud” as the fighters he used to criticize?