Billy Quarantillo is back in action this Saturday for the first time since his war with Shane Burgos last year. While he may have lost that fight, his stock only rose with fans as it once again highlighted Quarantillo’s fighting spirit and ability to go toe to toe with the toughest fighters out there. His opponent upon return will be Alexander “The Great” Hernandez.
Hernandez, at one point in his career, seemed like the next big prospect in the lightweight division with massive potential. Since losing to “Cowboy” Cerrone in 2019, it has been a rollercoaster of mixed results for Hernandez, but the flashes of brilliance in the octagon still show what he could accomplish if he can put multiple wins together. He currently holds victories over Francisco Trinaldo, Olivier Aubin Mercier, and Beneil Dariush among others, and knocked out Mike Breeden in one round in his last win. Since, he has dropped a submission loss to Renato Moicano in February but looks to return to the win column against Quarantillo this week.
Billy Quarantillo will come in the favorite at -178 over Hernandez.
- Hernandez: +138
- Quarantillo: -178
Billy Quarantillo is a dangerous fighter both on the feet and the mat, but the underlying threat everywhere is his pressure. On the feet, he stands relatively square because he wants to move forward at a constant pace behind combinations on both sides, he throws his punches with a bit of a loop to them, and his straights come over the shoulder which can sometimes expose his head as he follows his hands. He also utilizes great low kicks, which break down the movement of opponents that are already being sapped by his gas tank, Quarantillo has no qualms with taking some punishment as long as it means he gets to inflict his own.
However, while he has become especially famous as of late for wars with Shane Burgos and Gabriel Benitez, where he largely stood and traded, his black belt is legit. He is a very good scrambler and if but on the bottom, will quickly look to roll for leg locks to finish or in order to get to a sweep or 50-50 position and escape. Ultimately his best work is when he can catch the back in a scramble and he immediately always looks to cut one leg across the belly and secure a full body triangle without a single thought of the hooks, which allows him to maintain back control once he secures it. He is in constant motion, which allows him to often beat his opponents to the transition, making him difficult to hold down, but this constant movement both on the feet and the mat does mean he isn’t always the most technical fighter in the cage, moving into shots when he otherwise would have avoided.
Hernandez is largely the sharper fighter, and he depends largely on solid fundamentals. For the most part, he fights in a powerful forward style, primarily with good straight shots and kicks and then opening up with a wider variety of shots once he feels his opponents hurt or fading. He will switch stances to land both rear crosses down the pipe which is a good idea against the square stance of Quarantillo, especially to the body. In the past, investing to the midsection of Quarantillo has helped even the playing field a little bit with Quarantillo’s cardio and conditioning.
While Hernandez isn’t necessarily the better grappler of the two, he has great scrambles and takedown defense. If the fight gets wild, we could see Hernandez shoot and attempt to stay on top with ground and pound but his number one worry should be presenting his back if he is the one trying to escape back to the feet. He is very explosive and because of this he does turn to turtle position at times and jump to his feet, but against Quarantillo that body triangle is always a threat.
This is a tough fight for both men, it comes down to whether or not Quarantillo can overwhelm Hernandez with pace and pressure or if Hernandez can force a competition of technical skill and sharp shot. I do think that while it’s a difficult task, Hernandez’s power can do something to hurt Quarantillo as he relentlessly moves forward which wasn’t always there with other opponents, potentially slowing him down. Investing in the body can also serve the same purpose and Hernandez can pull off the upset.
Prediction: Alexander Hernandez to win
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.