For Miletich Fighter and Muscatine, Iowa native, Junior Hernandez (14-5-0), his debut fight this past September in the UFC didn’t exactly go as planned.
Hernandez lost via rear naked choke midway through the first round when he fought Lucas Martins in Brazil that night. Hernandez will have the opportunity to avenge that fight as he wil face TUF Brazil alumn, Hugo “Wolverine” Viana (7-2-0) on Saturday, January 25th at UFC on FOX 10: Henderson vs. Thomson in Chicago, IL.
“I wasn’t really excited for the first fight because I was gone away from home for six weeks,” said Hernandez. “Walking out to the cage, I wasn’t thinking that this was everything I had worked for, I was thinking, fifteen more minutes and I get to go back home.”
For his upcoming fight with Viana, Hernandez will only be three hours away from his hometown in the Quad Cities and he looks at this fight being his true coming out party. Hernandez also made the decision not to go to Florida and train with American Top Team this time around like he did for his previous fight.
“I really felt like I disrespected Pat (Miletich) and my team,” explained Hernandez. “Because they had helped me get to where I was and as soon as I got there I almost abandoned them to go train somewhere else.”
With all his training complete, Hernandez, along with the whole Miletich team and Quad City community was hit with the passing of MFS/Gravity Fitness owner Mike Reddish, as he lost a bout with pancreatic cancer on January 17th, only a few days before Hernandez would leave for Chicago.
“Everything with my training is on point, but I will walk to the cage this time with a heavy heart,” said Hernandez. “Mike was a big reason that MFS is still around.” As we all know, nothing is guaranteed in the fight game, but with Hernandez back with MFS, the fight only a few hours away and with the extra motivation to fight in honor of his friend and MFS owner, the cards seem to be in his favor for his first win in the UFC. “I want to fight the best Hugo he can be,” said Hernandez. “I feel that if I go out and do what I know I am capable of, it will be a good night for me and a good night for all of us here in the Quad Cities.”
Junior “Hot Handed” Hernandez will fight Hugo “Wolverine” Viana on Saturday, January 25th, LIVE from The United Center in Chicago, IL. The fight will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 Prelims at 5pm ET/2pm PT.