It’s been five days since that victory, and instead of sipping cognac at a club, Alexander is training at Mick Doyle’s Kickboxing and
However, his workout is constantly interrupted as reporters blow up the light heavyweight’s cell phone to conduct interviews. The impromptu press day takes up most of his afternoon, but Alexander courteously answers everyone’s questions. Around three o’clock, he leaves the large facility with a nearly dead cell phone, and walks towards his ’99 Pontiac Grand Prix. He opens the door, maneuvers his 6’0”, 205 pound muscular frame into the vehicle, and starts up the engine. Then, he rolls out of the parking lot to pick up his children from school wearing black pants, a long sleeve Team Doyle shirt, and a black Chicago White Sox baseball cap. Oversized medallions and platinum grills aren’t included in his wardrobe.
Without a thick skin, a kid growing up in
end up fighting every other day because the guys down there are pretty rough,” he says. “If you don’t know how to fight in
When Alexander was eight, his mother relocated the family to
After graduating highschool, Alexander had his first baby girl and took a job as head machine operator at an asphalt company. He worked there until he applied his impeccable drive to other ventures.
As a teenager, Alexander had submerged himself in the hiphop culture after seeing the graffiti art in
In 2000, he turned his passion into an occupation by interning at the local radio station. He spent the next year learning the ropes, and eventually he was hired as an on-air deejay. He has a weekly program entitled Sunday Nite Raw, and was the mastermind of the Culture Shock School Tour, an ongoing project that educates children and young adults about the essence of hip-hop.
During his internship, he wasn’t getting paid. As a result, when he attended an amateur MMA show at Club Amnesia, he accidentally fell into another profession. “A friend of mine, who knew I liked to roughhouse, dared me to get into the ring with one of the guys who was actually one of the champs,” Alexander recalls. “So I signed up for it, got in, and ended up being the winner that night. I kept going back and it’s been a whirlwind experience after that.”
Alexander began competing locally for promoter Chad Ma son and earned between $600-2,000 per fight. For the next several years, he trained alone at a rinky-dink gym located inside an old library in
Despite being choked out in his pro debut in 2001, Alexander has become unstoppable since then, defeating his next five professional opponents in impressive fashion and continuing to decimate locals by the dozen. In early 2007, Monte Cox became his manager and the knockout artist competed in a tournament at Cox’s Extreme Challenge promotion in March. The Assassin fought two oversized heavyweights and laid ‘em out.
One week later, Alexander was bonding with his children in the park when Cox called his cell phone (it was charged, this time) and asked him about fighting in the UFC. The light heavyweight accepted the offer, even though he never heard of his opponent, Keith Jardine.
Fortunately, he started training with Mick Doyle, an accomplished Muy Thai Kickboxing Champion, and learned more effective striking methods. Alexander utilized those techniques against Jardine in May at UFC 71: Liddell vs.
uppercutting him in the chin. After 48 seconds of fury, Jardine was on the ground and his mouthpiece was several feet away.
Apparently, Alexander didn’t have any octagon jitters. “I did feel anxious, but I wasn’t nervous because I was doing smaller shows for seven years and I was doing my program every week for five years in front of crowds,” he says. “I felt really comfortable.” Later that night, UFC President Dana White gave him a nice bonus in the locker room and rewrote his contract.
Alexander pulls his Grand Prix up to his children’s school, puts his vehicle in park, and waits for his kids to come out. As he sits at the wheel, he reflects on the past several months. He transformed from a regional gladiator to one of the sport’s rising stars, having knocked out two of the UFC’s most promising light heavyweights – Jardine and Sakara – in less than two minutes combined. The mainstream visibility boosted not only his MMA career, but it has shined more light on his radio program and his Culture Shock School Tour.
Now, he is inching closer to achieving his lifelong aspiratio
ns. “The goal is to get the belt. There is no other goal but trying to get the belt and give the fans what they want, which is some excitement and passion in the octagon. They’re tired of seeing boring MMA fights in the UFC. I want to keep it exciting for people, and everyone loves drama,” he explains. “Outside the ring, I’m trying to educate people on the sport and educate people on hip-hop.”
Alexander is certainly getting the best of both worlds.
Houston Alexander is a premier knockout artist. Though he practiced boxing during his teenage years, his striking game has risen to a tremendously higher level since training with Mick Doyle, an accomplished Kickboxer and Muy Thai specialist. “The Assassin” showed his diverse stand-up skills by stunning Keith Jardine with an array of uppercuts and dropping Alessio Sakara with a devastating knee from the clinch. He has proven to have as much power as anyone in the light heavyweight division.
Grappling & Submission
Despite several seconds of pounding Sakara on the octagon fl oor, Alexander hasn’t truly displayed his ground game just yet. In his defense, he hasn’t had the opportunity to show and prove because most of his fights end via knockout in the first round. Although he currently doesn’t hold a belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he maintains having good submission skills. However, he does have a wrestling background and from the little bit that’s been seen, he has excellent takedown defense.
Alexander has pushed the pace in all of his battles. While only one of his nine career fights has gone the distance, Alexander maintains that he has excellent cardio. He runs daily and has a rigorous training regimen with the tough coaches at Team Doyle, which explains why his speed, explosiveness and raw power are top notch.