Houston Alexander Q &
Houston Alexander has been
in the UFC for a little over five months. During
that time, Alexander defeated both Keith Jardine
and Alessio Sakara in very impressive fashion.
In registering the two knockouts, Alexander
spent less than two minutes total in the cage.
Now, Alexander prepares for
his next opponent - undefeated Brazilian slugger
Thiago Silva. The fight will take place Saturday,
November 17 at UFC 78.
We recently sat down with
Alexander to discuss the upcoming fight with
Silva, how he came to rise so quickly in the
UFC, and his views on his manager’s new
Q: What are your thoughts
on the upcoming fight with Thiago Silva?
HA: It’s going to be
a very exciting fight. Thiago likes to come
out just like I do. He wants to come right at
Q: How long do you think
the fight will go? Will it be a quick one?
HA: I’m not sure. It
can go a minute, or it can go three rounds.
It all depends on the type of fighter he wants
to be. If he wants to go down quick, we can
do it quick. If he wants to go down slow, we
can do that also.
Q: One of the questions most
people have had about your style is what is
your ground game like?
HA: A lot of people have
asked me that. I have two words for anyone asking
– Bob Shermer. Shermer has one of the
top Jiu-Jitsu teams in the world, and I just
happen to be working with him. I also have one
of the best wrestling coaches in the Midwest
in Curly Alexander. He has been a wrestling
coach for 35 years. My ground game is great.
It is just as good as anyone’s in the
UFC. It probably rates a little better then
my stand-up. If these guys can get past my first
line of defense, they’ll get a chance
to see it.
Q: Does this mean you are
pretty well versed in submissions or will you
use your ground game to get the fight back up
HA: I personally want to
get it up to my feet because that is what the
fans want to see. They want to see two guys
go at it. They don’t want to pay forty
dollars to see us hug for five minutes. They
want to see us bang it out, and I’m going
to give the fans what they are looking for.
Q: Does Silva’s Chute
Box background pose any additional problems
HA: No. We’re approaching
this fight the same way we’d approach
any other fight. Whether or not he has that
type of background – it’s not going
to deter me from doing what I have to do. I
plan to impose my will.
Q: Should you beat Silva,
do you feel that should put you in line for
a main event type match?
HA: I’m not sure. It’s
whatever UFC decides to do with me. They are
my employer. I don’t regulate that, but
it definitely would be nice.
Q: How long did you sign
with the UFC for?
HA: I have three more fights
to go. I am pretty sure they will want to negotiate
that for me to fight a little longer, but that’s
how long my contract is.
Q: Did they sign you to that
contract before the Keith Jardine fight or after
the Jardine fight?
HA: It was actually a four
fight deal after the Jardine fight. I’m
thinking they saw a little something in me.
Q: That Jardine fight was
pretty good for you…
HA: It was a nice fight.
Nice atmosphere. Nice setting. It couldn’t
have been better.
Q: What did you think of
Jardine getting the Chuck Liddell fight? Did
that surprise you that they contacted Jardine
HA: No, it didn’t.
It was an interesting match-up. You had two
guys coming off losses. You had two guys almost
the same height and almost have the same ability
going at it. People keep asking me, “Hey
don’t you think you deserved to fight
Chuck?” I tell them that I didn’t
it. I have not been in the UFC as long as those
guys have been. To me, they deserved to fight
Q: What do you think of Liddell’s
next fight with Wanderlei Silva?
HA: Man that is going to
be an even better fight. Again, Chuck is coming
off a loss so I think he’ll come out hammering.
That’s probably going to be one of the
fights of the year.
Q: Prior to the Jardine fight,
Jardine said he didn’t really know if
he should be fighting you because you didn’t
have a name. How did that make you feel?
HA: I don’t have any
thoughts on that because he didn’t know
who I was. Nobody did. I don’t blame him.
I’m hoping that since fight he knows me
Q: After the fight, the aggressiveness
really started to come out. You seemed to yell
at him a little bit. What were you saying?
HA: You know a lot of people
thought that was disrespectful of me, but no
one said that about (Muhammed) Ali in the 60’s
when he used to do that. The adrenaline was
flowing so I just told Jardine to get up. I
didn’t want the fight to be over yet.
There was no disrespect to him. My adrenaline
was just flowing, and I couldn’t contain
myself. What no one knows is that I called Keith’s
camp a few weeks later to make sure he was ok.
Q: Do you think Jardine would
ever want a rematch?
HA: I don’t know. I’ve
spoken with Keith a couple of times. It’s
all love between the fighters. It’s professional.
If the UFC sets us up again, we’d go at
it again. I’m pretty sure if the UFC makes
the fight, he would take the fight.
Q: Is it ever hard to become
friends with another fighter after being so
ultra-aggressive towards them?
HA: You know it’s not.
If you’re a professional, then you should
act like a professional. I consider myself a
professional. I don’t know the guy personally
so we can be friends with no problem outside
of the ring – just not inside the ring.
Q: Going back towards the
start of your career, we’ve heard some
stories that you’ve had hundreds of unofficial
MMA fights. Is that true?
HA: Yes. I’ve definitely
had a few. I’ve been fighting for about
Q: About how many fights
do you think you’ve had?
HA: I’ve had over 200
fights. Sometimes I’ve fought five times
in one night.
Q: Five times in one night?
HA: Yes, it’s hard
to believe but ask the people up in Sioux City,
Iowa. They’ll tell you.
Q: Is that hard for you?
Does it take a long time to recover?
HA: It depends on the individual
I am fighting. Usually, the fights don’t
last that long. So if they don’t last
that long, I can go another round. All you have
to do is replace the person.
Q: With 200 fights, what
do you think your record is?
HA: I’ve probably won
95% of those.
Q: When the UFC contacted
you for the Jardine fight, what were you up
to? Were you surprised to get the call?
HA: I actually got a call
from my manager, Monte Cox. He’s a very
well respected guy, and I had entered one of
his Extreme Challenges cards. I had to fight
heavyweight in it. I fought two guys that night
and won it. I actually thought the call was
for a Pride contract, but then he said, “How
would you like to fight in the UFC?” The
answer was a pretty quick yes.
Next, Cox said would you
like to fight Jardine, and I said, “who?”
I actually didn’t know who Jardine was
at first. I didn’t watch that much UFC.
I was just doing my thing in the Midwest. It
was a fluky situation, but I was ready.
Q: As a fighter, why wouldn’t
you watch more UFC?
HA: Maybe because the few
fights I saw, I actually thought I was on the
UFC guys’ level. I was thinking I might
never get an opportunity to prove that. When
the opportunity came, I jumped at it because
I knew I could compete.
Q: You mentioned the name
Monte Cox and obviously Cox has been in the
news an awful lot recently. What are your thoughts
on his M-1 promotion?
HA: It’s great for
the sport. With competition out there, salaries
for the fighters will grow. Everyone knows Monte
is a smart guy. He’s in that position
for a reason. The reason is to get the fighters
as much money as he can.
Q: That would be great for
the fighters. Maybe Cox can help get the salaries
more in line with boxers.
HA: Yes, that’s true.
The sport is growing very quickly. I believe
we are the second most viewed fight in the world
so why not pay the fighters what they are worth?
Q: Seeing that you and Cox
do have a relationship, an obvious follow-up
question would be has Cox contacted you about
possibly coming over there?
HA: No. No one has contacted
me yet. I’m not ready to jump ship anyway.
Q: Being that you came to
the UFC later than most other fighters, do you
think age will be a factor?
HA: I don’t think age
will be a factor. All I have to do is mention
two words: Randy Couture. He’s probably
in better shape than a lot of those guys. He’s
probably mentally stronger, and that’s
an advantage us older fighters have over the
younger guys. We are mentally stronger. I don’t
let anything rattle me. The fight is 80% mental
and 20% physical.
Q: A guy you must have your
sights on in the future is Rampage Jackson.
What are your thoughts on him?
HA: Rampage is good for the
sport. He’s a very charismatic guy. He’s
one of the funniest guys I’ve been around.
He takes his job serious but not necessarily
Q: You’ve looked extremely
impressive in your last two fights. One of the
big questions on everyone’s mind –
how good is Houston Alexander?
HA: We’ll see.
I try to always rise to the occasion and my
opponent. If my opponent is aggressive, I like
to be more aggressive. If my opponent punches,
I like to punch more. If he kicks, I would like
to kick more. I like to take it up a notch.
If anyone is expecting to fight me, they better
expect me to bring it more than they are bringing
it. I don’t quit. I don’t give up.
I would rather pass out than tap out.