Hernandez knew what needed to be done next, and while leaving a team is always a tough thing to do, his squad and his coaches knew it was what was best for a fighter chasing a UFC belt.
“When we were really honest with ourselves and looked in the mirror, it was like, man, I don’t think we really have what is required at this level at home,” said Hernandez. “My coaches and my teammates were all really part-time. So we had a ‘come to Jesus’ about it and maybe we needed more so we could do more. That was the honest conversation we had.”
But where would be the 28-year-old’s next destination? He hit a few gyms, was treated well by respected coaches and fighters, and as the visits piled up, the decisions became harder to come by.
“Everyone was so nice and hospitable and they’re giving you their time and you’re working with everyone, and it feels like you’re breaking up with a girl you like every single week,” he said. “I was like, man, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
But one coach and team in particular hit a positive nerve with him, and that was Marc Montoya, head coach at Factory X.
“Marc Montoya really stuck with me, so when I made that decision, originally I thought I would live in a guest house or as a guest somewhere and I’ll get through a camp. And assuming everything goes well, we’ll make a big move. Then I thought about it and talked to my girlfriend about it, and we said let’s just go big or stay home.”