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Alexander Hernandez didn't lose 'an ounce of confidence' after Donald Cerrone loss

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SAN ANTONIO – Alexander Hernandez sees the mistake he made in his first UFC loss against Donald Cerrone, and he doesn’t expect to have the same issues going into Saturday’s matchup with Francisco Trinaldo at UFC on ESPN 4.

After talking a big game prior to his high-profile bout with “Cowboy” at UFC on ESPN+ 1 in January, Hernandez came out and suffered a second-round TKO loss to the promotion’s all-time wins leader. He was showered with criticism post-fight, but said he digested the result and moved forward.

With several months of reflection time behind him, Hernandez said he is able to pinpoint exactly what led to his defeat.

“If I was going to lose any way it was from experience,” Hernandez told MMA Junkie at UFC on ESPN 4 open workouts. “I’m the stronger, faster and I honestly believe the more technical fighter all around, but it was a lack of composure that was my detriment, my downfall. If there’s anything that guy’s garnered over the last few years it’s tremendous mental composure.

“He presented a true test and I underestimated the most prevalent thing I should’ve been looking out for it. It was an experience point for me and a huge landmark in my fighting career.”

Despite the setback, Hernandez said the defeat taught him not to “lose an ounce of confidence” in himself. He took half the year off and is looking to come back to the octagon with force when he takes on another seasoned veteran in Trinaldo.

Trinaldo is one of the most physically imposing athletes in the lightweight division, but Hernandez said he’s formulated a plan to deal with the 40-year-old Brazilian.

“He’s a grimy guy,” Hernandez said. “I don’t think he’s particularly pretty anywhere, but I think he’s pretty solid all around. I think he’s a pretty tough, gritty experienced. I’m not going to underestimate the age or nothing like that, I’m going to respect the fact he’s an experienced veteran.”

UFC on ESPN 4 takes place at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The entire card airs on ESPN.

If Hernandez had beaten Cerrone he likely would have been put on the fast track to title contention at 155 pounds. He doesn’t think all his momentum has been extinguished, though, and said he thinks a solid win will put his title aspirations back on his desired timeline.

“The goal is still to have the belt in 2021,” Hernandez said. “I win this fight, I get two ranked opponents and I’m looking at a title shot. Especially with the way I fight and carry myself. I don’t see why we can’t stay on track.”

For more from Hernandez, click on the video above.

For more on UFC on ESPN 4, check out the UFC Schedule.

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