Heading into his fight at LFA 81, Vince Cachero had the pressure of coming off of two straight losses but the two defeats weren’t the only items on his mind heading into fight day. By fight day he was just happy to be fighting at all. “The Anomaly” Cachero not only had one opponent drop out but two and his final opponent filled in on one days notice. On top of that, one of his idols, Kobe Bryant passed away that week. Quite simply, it was quite a fight week for Cachero.
“It was intense, full of emotions and emotions that were coming close to that day. The week started off with Kobe dying on Sunday and he was a big hero of mine in a lot of different ways, not just in a sports aspect. That was a big blow. We were going into fight week and on Wednesday we hear my opponent was hospitalized and can’t make the fight. Then we get another opponent switch to Ryan Lilley and I’m really thankful and I’m excited to one just to fight him again and thankful that he is able to step up on short notice and for whatever reason that fight fell through at weigh-ins. Then they gave us a third opponent which was Marvin Garcia who I was supposed to fight last year at the August show. It was a weird turn of events and emotions.”
Bryant’s death was significant for Cachero for many reasons, not only because he was a legend in the game of basketball but it was how he started to bond with his stepdad. The legendary Laker was also an inspiration to Cachero for how he wanted to approach his days after fighting.
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Dear Kobe, I was six, It was finally time To be a Laker fan just like my Pops. You were 18, The laker rook, the next big thing. It was fate, you became my favorite player. That’s an important responsibility. Like all young athletes I latched onto you. Kobe was truth. Like all worshipped idols you had flaws. Kobe was human. You inspired me to be better. A better competitor. A better athlete. A better man. A better me. Because that’s what favorite players do. Then you retired. But your new job was even more important. You shared the journey Our journey— The Athlete’s Journey. One we all know to be True Yet struggle to express. You found the right words. You shared the map To navigating obstacles, Summoning courage, Manipulating emotions, And conquering fears. You inspired me to be greater. You inspired us to be greater. Greater than infinity. Because that’s what legends do. Thank you, Kobe. Rest In Peace — To all the kids who read #Wizenard #LegacyAndTheQueen #Epoca I will tell you this: #grana is real. I felt it in that cage last night. Keep believing. Keep training. And keep that #MambaMentality It was a bucket list goal of mine to work with Kobe on a project for his company @granity. I am all about The Athlete’s Journey, so today it’s officially born @theathletesjourney_ after years of pondering and planning. I one day hope to collaborate with #GranityStudios and carry on the legacy of the Black Mamba. One day…. but 8 always comes before 24 and I still have unfinished business in the cage. 📷: @thetruthjackson // @lfafighting #LFA81 // #anomalyarmy #kobe #ripkobe #blackmambaforever
“I started watching the Lakers when I was six years old and it was because my step-dad was watching so it was our bonding over a shared interest. It was his first season playing for the Lakers (Kobe) and he was a rookie and I was like, he’s going to be my favorite player, I’m making him my favorite player. I literally grew up watching the dude play, obviously his talent on the court speaks for everything but looking at his career after the fact, he won an Academy Award, he won an Oscar within two years of retiring and everything he was doing storytelling wise, helping to produce all these books, books specifically targeted to children in sports and all the life lessons you can learn in sports. It’s kinda what I want my career to look like. I really want to get into my photo, my video, my writing stuff after fighting after fighting is done. The same way Kobe did. The same way he attacked sports and you can see he was going to be very successful, and he was going to pass on all the knowledge he had and I admire that.”
Additionally to Kobe’s death, Cachero had to deal with multiple change of opponents during fight week. He was initially slated to fight Isiah Batin-Gonzalez but Batin-Gonzalez was hospitalized and then Ryan Lilley stepped in. Cachero was excited to face Lilley as it was a rematch that was exciting the first time. However, it wasn’t meant to be and on weigh in day, Marvin Garcia stepped up. It was quite a ride of emotions for Cachero as he explains.
“I was ready to fight anyone at any weight class whatever need be, if they need to weigh in or not. Whatever it was, I’m ready to go, I’m in prime condition right now. I had a hell of a camp thanks to my coaches and my teammates. I just knew my body was ready to fight anyone so I was ready that night to take anything. Through all the changes it sucked and everything but it was the perfect opponent we ended up getting. The first two guys were more of strikers and Marvin is more a wrestler, and that’s where his specialty is and I was talking that I got to showcase all my improvements from my last fight on Marvin.”
Fighting an opponent on short notice is not always a great idea, but for Cachero, he never hesitatead in making the decision to accept the fight and his coaches and manager never questioned him either.
“My coaches believe in me and trust me. My head coach Adam Lerner he fills me with so much self-belief as well. Marvin is someone we prepared for before, we did study him and were ready for him back in August. It was a weird twist in fate type of thing that he ended up coming up. But in terms of my coaches saying no, they all support me and they know that I’m ready to take on any comers.”
The fight didn’t exactly start out as Cachero planned, he quickly found himself on his back after being over eager to which he admits to.
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“𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐞𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.” – 𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐮 Never would’ve guessed I needed to be locked in a cage to escape the cage in my head. Fighting is cathartic. Answer the call. 📷: @blanca_marisa_garcia // @lfafighting // #anomalyarmy #theathletesjourney #mma #mmafighter #fight #athlete #catharsis #reborn #ouroboros #lfafighting #lfa81 #thedarkside #teamhawaii
“That was just more of me being a little bit over eager to get the fight started, maybe it was the long week. It was a small mistake. I didn’t take a nice little side step and through my feint and just went with a feint and then a jab. But he saw it as soon as I feinted he got a nice shot in on the deep side and he’s a really good wrestler. Anytime you get that deep on your legs you’re going to get down.”
Cachero rebounded quickly from his over-eagerness and found the finish in the second round of the fight and now can relax until he finds the next time he can enjoy the pressure of the fight game.
“I did feel a little extra pressure coming off of the two losses. It was win or go home. I’m in this sport not to runaway from pressure. If there is pressure on you, you’re doing a good thing. If you’re winning fights, you’re winning fights, you’re going to get more pressure and if you’re losing fights you’re still getting that pressure to get right back in the win column. So for me, I thrive off the pressure, I like it.”
For Cachero, his plan for the year is to fight often and against the top opponents he can find. Ideally, he’ll find himself fighting between April and June and then in the UFC.
“I see myself getting into the UFC this year.”