11-15-2007, 10:28 AM
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| | UFC 78 Interview with Houston Alexander
From MMAJUNKIE.COM www.mmajunkie.com
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) caught up with promising UFC newcomer Houston Alexander and his coach, Mick Doyle, for a quick update on his preparations as he faces Thiago Silva at this weekend’s UFC 78 event. |
The event takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. and airs on pay-per-view.
With his latest victory over UFC veteran Alessio Sakara (11-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC), the Nebraska hip-hop DJ and rising light heavyweight contender Alexander (8-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) proved his lightning-quick knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC 71 may just be par for the course.
MMAjunkie.com’s Eric “Performify” Foster caught up with MMAjunkie.com-sponsored fighter Alexander and Coach Doyle (a former world champion kickboxer himself) in New Jersey before a training session.
The interview runs for two pages, so be sure to click through to “read more.“
For previous MMAjunkie.com coverage of Alexander, see:
* Houston Alexander Post-UFC 75 Video Interview
* Houston Alexander UFC 75 Interview
* Houston Alexander post-UFC 71 Video Interview
* Houston Alexander UFC 71 Interview
MMAjunkie.com: Houston, we talked to you for both of your previous fights, at UFC 71 and UFC 75. Talk to us a little about your training camp for Silva; has anything changed in your training since your two big wins in the UFC?
Houston Alexander: You know what, it’s like baking a cake. You get all the right ingredients for it, and you end up having a nice, moist chocolate cake. So why would you change the ingredients to your nice, moist chocolate cake? We have the same coaching staff, the same people we’re training with. We’ve had two great victories with the same people, so why change now? I haven’t gone Hollywood yet.
MMAjunkie.com: (laughs) Maybe one more win…
Houston Alexander: Yeah, maybe one more win and I’ll get rid of everyone like Tyson did and screw up my career. (laughs)
MMAjunkie.com: We watched your segment on the “UFC Countdown” show this week, that was a great look inside the gym and at your coaches Mick Doyle and Curlee Alexander. What was it like…
Houston Alexander: I didn’t even get to see it yet. How did it turn out? How did the workout part turn out?
MMAjunkie.com: It was really good. I’ll get you a copy.
Houston Alexander: Please do. We haven’t even seen it, man.
MMAjunkie.com: What was it like filming the “Countdown” segment?
Houston Alexander: It was real interesting, having a camera in your face every day. It was real interesting having someone even interested in your life. To me, it was a privilege for that to be happening, man. We had a chance to showcase the gym, to showcase some of the guys we train with; it was a really good look.
MMAjunkie.com: Was filming disruptive?
Houston Alexander: No, actually it wasn’t disruptive. They just stood over to the side. It was a great experience actually. Now I have a piece of history on film that I can share with my kids. I’ve got my own fight segment.
MMAjunkie.com: I know of course you won’t want to talk too extensively about your gameplan, but what can you share with us? With Silva being a BJJ blackbelt, I know you’re a lot better on the ground than most people give you credit for, but there are still a lot of doubters. How are you prepared if the fight hits the ground?
Houston Alexander: I have two words for that: Bob Schirmer. Of course we brought Bob Schirmer back in, one of the best jiu jitsu guys in the world. And plus we’ve got Curlee Alexander — one of the premiere wrestling coaches in Nebraska and possibly in the Midwest. We just worked extensively on my overall game — not just my ground game. I’m not concerned about impressing anyone with my ground game or anything like that. We worked on everything. (The) overall game is what we worked on.
MMAjunkie.com: You recently had a profile piece (see: Raising kids harder than KOing foes for Alexander) hit the front page of Yahoo.com — not the front page of Yahoo! Sports, but the front page of Yahoo.com, the single highest-trafficked site on the Internet. What was that like for you?
Houston Alexander: I was really surprised to receive that. The Yahoo! situation was huge for us because it showcased myself, it showcased the gym, it brought light to Omaha, Neb. In that one segment we showcased a lot of things, and I was particularly proud of that. Plus, it showcased my kids, and they know that right now a lot of people are thinking about them.
MMAjunkie.com: Of course. And speaking of your kids, we’ve had even more focus on them, with the big story coming out about you giving up a kidney for your daughter back in 2000.
Houston Alexander: It was something I didn’t want to say in the beginning. I didn’t want sympathy from anyone. But everyone kept asking me about my scar on my stomach. And yeah, I gave up my kidney for my daughter back in 2000. Most people don’t know I’m fighting with one kidney.
MMAjunkie.com: One more quick question about one of your passions: of course you’re still doing “Sunday Nite Raw” on Power 106.9 in Omaha…
Houston Alexander: Yeah, still doing “Sunday Nite Raw.” I actually just shared a lot of information with Funkmaster Flex, so we might be doing some collaboration together.
MMAjunkie.com: You play a lot of good underground hip-hop on your show. Who are you listening to right now?
Houston Alexander: I listen to an artist from Omaha, Neb. named Ed Leon. He’s the Jay-Z of our area; he’s that good. There’s another guy I’m listening to, Pocket Pete. He’s from Nebraska. I’m actually currently listening to both of those guys when I work out.
MMAjunkie.com: Speaking Midwest, I’m a big fan of the Rhymesayers crew here.
Houston Alexander: I play a lot of Rhymesayers, out of that Minnesota area.
MMAjunkie.com: And they just signed Mac Lethal from here in KC.
Houston Alexander: Yeah, I had heard of Mac Lethal like three years ago.
MMAjunkie.com: His latest is really good. He just got picked up by Rhymesayers, and he did his first on that label.
Houston Alexander: Nice.
MMAjunkie.com: Is there anything else we can mention for you on the site?
Houston Alexander: Tell everyone I appreciate the fans for all their support. And thanks to my coaching staff. I couldn’t do all this without my coaching staff. And my family and friends, thanks for the support. And tell everyone to hit me up on HoustonTheAssasin.com. And send that “Countdown” video to Mick so we can check it out. Thanks brother. Here’s Mick…
MMAjunkie.com: Mick, we got Houston’s take on the fight in general, but I want to get your take as well on two questions. First, with Silva being a BJJ black belt, I know you’re a lot better on the ground than most people give you credit for, but there are still a lot of doubters. How are you prepared if the fight hits the ground?
Mick Doyle: Yeah. You know, Sakara was a black belt too. In this game, you have to be well rounded. Our training really hasn’t changed just because it’s Thiago. He may be a little better black belt than Sakara was, but Houston’s strategy is going to be the same as any fight. He’d rather knock you out than tap you out. But he’s capable of tapping people out. But to be honest, if he’s got you on the ground, he may pass up an armbar to land an elbow or a punch. That’s just his nature. He wants to do damage. He doesn’t want to give you the option of giving up. He wants the referee to stop it. And I’m not going to have the guy change that. He can do all that stuff, but he’d rather punish you, and I’m not going to keep that on a leash.
MMAjunkie.com: Just from a coach’s perspective, what can you tell us about the gameplan in general?
Mick Doyle: Don’t blink.
Mick Doyle: I’m serious. We’ve seen some stuff… You know how Houston’s developing. He’s got a lot more weapons in his arsenal than he’s had to use yet. I think people can expect him to be aggressive and all that, but every fight we get a chance to train a little more and develop his technique. He’s got new toys that he wants to play with, let’s just say that. But this fight could go quick too. He’s really catching on quick to what we’re showing him, what we’re asking him to do. For this fight, moreso than the other ones, he just understands. He can look at film himself and see the weakness in his opponents and see how that relates to the techniques he’s working on and how that relates to certain things. He just gets it — and he’s still developing.
Favorite Fighters: Randy, Nog , Monson, Thiago Silva,
Rampage, Lyoto Machida, Shogun, BJ Penn, Jon Fitch, Wand, Rich Franklin, GSP, Frankie Edgar, Joe Stevenson, Houston Alexander, Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, Brandon Vera
"He's like a ballet of violence"--Joe Rogan on Anderson Silva
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