It's safe to say that colorful "The Ultimate Fighter 12" cast member Alex Caceres (4-2), aka "Bruce Leroy," is the kind of guy that will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime.
After all, he's been that way since elementary school.
"Every since elementary school, I would get into fights every day," Caceres told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Every time I would come back from suspension, there would be another fight going down."
Caceres says in his Florida neighborhood, fighting was just a way of life. He enjoyed the process.
A lifelong fan of martial arts, fighting on the schoolyard was Caceres' only chance to participate as a child. With his Cuban-Dominican parents unable to afford proper martial arts lessons, Caceres had to wait until he was 14 to receive formal training.
"I always wanted to do martial arts, but my parents just never had the money to put me through those kind of schools," Caceres said. "When I was 14, through the wrestling team I was able to train at this MMA school called FFA. That's where I started."
As Caceres began to hone his skills, his schoolyard exploits began to slow, but only slightly. Caceres insists he was no longer the instigator in these scraps, but he refused to ever back down from a challenge.
"Once I started getting into martial arts and wrestling, I calmed down a lot," Caceres said. "I still got into fights, but it wasn't because of me this time. I just wouldn't deny anybody fight.
"They wanted to pick on me. I'm not going to go look for it, but if you want to fight, I'm down."
Cacaeres' combative adventures continued as he aged, and he was kicked out of high school – twice – for the fisticuffs. While he doesn't necessarily agree with the decision, he never went back to gain his diploma.
"Some guy stole one of my girlfriends' purse," Caceres said. "He was running down the hallways going out the school. I caught up to him and slammed his face against a locker and got the purse back. The security guys didn't say anything. They thought it was a good deed, but then the superintendent came and said, 'Oh, you should have alerted someone else to come do this,' but if I did he would have gotten away.
"It just wasn't working out for me. ... I had good grades. I love to learn. I love studying language arts, creative writing, philosophy, but fights are just so easy to come by at school."
Eventually, his MMA school also asked Caceres to leave because he couldn't financially contribute to the organization. That led him to the Young Tigers Foundation, his current training academy.
Without a schoolyard on which to scrap, Caceres needed a different outlet. That's when famed Floridian gangster-turned-fighter Rene "Level" Martinez led "Bruce Leroy" to the enticing world of backyard brawls, where he was paid $600 per fight.
"It's kind of dangerous," Caceres said of the backyard bouts. "You can get injured, and your hospital bill is going to be a whole lot more than $600.
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