Anthony Hernandez Admits He Barely Follows UFC: ‘I’m Not Here to Be a Fanboy’

Anthony Hernandez is quietly building an impressive resume in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight division.

The former Dana White’s Contender Series competitor earned his fourth straight victory at UFC Fight Night 223, pulling away for a third-round technical knockout victory over once highly-touted prospect Edmen Shahbazyan in the evening’s co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “Fluffy” endured a strong start from his opponent before overwhelming him with takedowns, submission attempts and ground-and-pound.

In the aftermath, Hernandez found plenty of room for improvement.

“I got hit, so obviously I’ve got to work on head movement,” he said at the post-fight press conference. “My coaches told me I was making a couple mistakes when I was moving backward. Just back to the drawing board. We just come back and we try to perform better next time.”

Hernandez was confident that he would eventually be able to impose his will on Shahbazyan, no matter how long it took.

“I knew it could be either way. It’s a fight, you never know what to expect. I just went in there ready to try to murder him for every single round,” Hernandez said. “It doesn’t matter if he wants to stay in there for three or two, I’m gonna try to break his soul no matter what.

“Every fight I feel like’s gonna be a hard one,” he added. “When you get to this level, everyone’s f—ing good. Everybody knows all the basics, everyone is really good here. He was tough just like everyone else in the division, but I feel like I’m tougher and I’m going come to show that every f—-ing time.”

Ultimately, Hernandez’s conditioning made the difference. Shahbazyan faded badly when his initial push didn’t deliver a finish.

“It’s never comfortable,” Hernandez said. “There’s no such thing as comfort. We kill ourselves to make weight. This whole thing is miserable. What’s one more misery? I’ve been through hell plenty of times. What’s one more (time) going through hell?”

Hernandez began his promotional tenure with losses in two of his first three appearances but has since turned things around with wins over the likes of Rodolfo Vieira, Josh Fremd, Marc-Andre Barriault and Shahbazyan. While he hopes to face a ranked opponent next, he admittedly doesn’t have a name in mind.

“I honestly barely follow the UFC,” Hernandez said. “Whoever the f—k is in that top 15, I will fight. So, Uncle Dana, whoever you want to see me fight, sign me up and I’ll be there.”

According to Hernandez, his philosophy is based on self-belief, so it doesn’t make sense to follow any potential opponents.

“I’m not here to be a fanboy, I’m here to be the biggest f—-ing thing in the world,” Hernandez said. “So, I believed in myself, and I’m just gonna keep focusing on myself. I don’t care what everyone else is doing. When the time comes, and I have to face them, I will break their soul.”


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