Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) is known for having some of the best, if not the best prospects in mixed martial arts compete in their organization for a chance to get recognized by the UFC and eventually signed, whether straight to the big organization or to Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. No other organization over the past few years has done it better than LFA, sending many prospects such as Ian Heinisch, Ricky Simon and Sabina Mazo to the big show, each after winning LFA gold, an almost certainty to get noticed by the UFC. Everyone, is gunning for an LFA title shot for that very reason.
LFA’s bantamweight division is particularly deep. Miles Johns is the current champion and Raufeon Stots, Levi Mowles, Joe Murphy and Vince Cachero were all jockeying for position to become the next contender for Johns’ throne. With an impressive victory over fellow contender Joe Murphy, Cachero earned the right to face Johns at LFA 62 and he couldn’t be more excited when he got the call for the fight.
“I was just elated, Ed Soares (LFA President) gave me a call and asked if I could be ready in March for a shot at that LFA belt and the answer is of course, hell yeah!”
As elated as Cachero was to get the call, he already set the wheels in motion a long time ago so he was ready when he got it.
“I was preparing for a title shot whether it was this fight or the next fight, I knew either Miles or I knew Raufeon Stots, one of those guys would get called up. I don’t even know what happened to that Stots fight, but I’m not worried about that, I knew something was going to open up for me and something did and I was ready for it.”
Everything has happened pretty quickly for the native Hawaiian and now Los Angeles resident. When he first turned professional in 2017, he told himself he would give himself two years to make it MMA a viable career path. Now almost a little over two years to the date of his professional debut, Cachero will try for a highly coveted belt.
But that belt won’t be on the line as Johns had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. Instead, Cachero will compete for the interim bantamweight title against interim LFA flyweight champion Casey Kenny. Kenny is 10-1-1, he has competed twice on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and he defeated Brandon Royval to win LFA’s interim flyweight belt.
Kenny will be Cachero’s toughest test to date but that could be said of all of Cahcero’s six professional fights and it was meant each time One of the aspects of Cachero’s career that he is extremely proud of is that he has taken on extremely tough opponents. All of his opponents had a winning record and almost always double the amounts of professional fights as he had at the time. While keeping his record unblemished, Cachero has defeated Ryan Lilley (currently 9-4), Noehlin Hernandez (currently 9-2) and Joe Murphy (currently 8-5).
But none of those fights had a belt on the line and a possible opportunity to earn a shot at the big show and accomplish Cachero’s dream of fighting for the UFC. But, Cachero says, despite the high stakes, his mindset is the same as the fights before it.
“For me it’s kind of been my development through light reading a bunch, psychology, sports psychology, philosophy. I take a lot of stoic philosophy, guys like Marcus Aurelius, the great emperor king and guys like Seneca. The big overachieving theme of stoic philosophy is only worry about what you can control, everything else out of your control is going to happen the way it’s going to happen but you shouldn’t bother with it, you shouldn’t bother with it, you should only be thinking about what you can control. So, when it comes to fights like this, yes there will be more media, there’s will be more questions, it will be so easy for me to sit back and get egotistical and let it get to my head like “oh I’m the man now, I’m going to be the man for this fight and everyone’s coming to me cause I want to be the champ and I’m this hot young prospect.” It’s easy to get sucked into that but for me, that’s not in my personality. My personality is to put my head down and get the work done and this is no different. I’m only going to take control the things that are within my power, its attitude, effort and expectations.”
Cachero’s practice of stoic philosophy will be tested as the things outside of his control made his title plans change. As previously mentioned, Casey Kenney is replacing Miles Johns in the bout making it an interim title bout. Though initially disappointed about not fighting Johns, Cachero believes Kenney is a worthy opponent and might have even more name value than Johns because of his appearances on Contender Series.
“Casey Kenney is a monster, what is he, 11-1 basically that fight was really close, I know Dana and Sean Shelby are super high on him anyways, from his two appearances on the Contender Series.”
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It takes a real fighter to step up on short notice ready to enter a firefight. Props to my new opponent. He’s the current interim flyweight champ, a legit prospect with UFC level talent, 2x Contender Series vet, AND he likes to stand and bang just like yours truly 😉. You can bet your ass this is exactly the type of fighter I want to scrap with to show my skill and prove I belong in the @ufc. – This fight has a 100% chance of being violent, bloody, and exciting. It’s skill vs. skill, aggression vs. aggression. I can’t f*kn wait for next Friday, it’s Christmas in March. @lfafighting @axstvfights #LFA62 #AndNew 🏆. – #anomalyarmy #dividedby0 #mma #mmafighter #fight #scrap #lfafighting #a4boxing #fightsciencemma #cmma #blackhousemma #fighttips #tbchawaii #theboilingcrab #borntoughapparel #lutagearofficial #punchgunk #alltimearts #teamhawaii
Kenney’s fighting style is also appealing to Cachero.
“Just the style of fight of his is great, he’s going to take the fight to me and that’s the same way that I fight. Just two guys that are willing to walk to the middle of the cage, throw hands and it’s going to be a battle, it’s a five round battle and I’m excited about it.”
With the switch in opponent happening so late into his training camp, Cachero didn’t change much, however he did work with more southpaws and have his training partners fight southpaw since that is a major difference between Johns and Kenney. With an exciting win over Kenney, which of course is what Cachero expects to happen, he hopes to earn his spot into the UFC, if not he is open to a unification bout with Johns or a spot on the Contender Series. Regardless, of the opportunity that awaits him next, Cachero intends to continue to fight the best of the best in order to prove to Dana White and Sean Shelby he is worthy of a UFC roster spot.
“To be honest, I’ve been fighting the toughest of the tough, it’s always my goal to fight up; fight guys with bigger names, more experience, whatever it is, to prove to Dana and Sean that I’m ready for the UFC. After this fight with with Casey Kenney, I think there’s no question that my talent level is there, my experience is there. That’s where I want to be. If it doesn’t happen, no problem, I’ll fight Johns for the real belt, that’s fine with me too. You know how it is, I want to be in the UFC, I want to fight the best of the best, that’s my goal.”