Houston Alexander - Drill, Baby, Drill

by Matthew DeMarinis

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Houston 'the Assassin' Alexander, looking to rebound from three consecutive losses, recently took time to sit down with us at MMASpot.net and talked about his future in MMA, how he plans to improve his game, and why he considers himself blessed to be doing something he loves. Also see his thoughts on steroids, greasing, and self-sacrifice.

MD: You have your next fight scheduled to take place on May 23rd at UFC 98 against Andre Gusmao. What are your thoughts on Gusmao, and how do you see that fight playing out?
HA: From the film we’ve seen, and from talking to my coaches, he’s probably one of the most athletic guys that I’m going to be facing. He’s really good on his feet. He likes to put people on the ground quick, so he’s probably one of the better guys I’ll be facing athletically.

MD: So you definitely want to keep that fight standing, and you’ll be working on your takedown defense then?
HA: You know, right now we’re preparing for either or. The plan was for me to get better, and I’ve gotten probably ten times better. It doesn’t matter where it goes, as a professional MMA fighter you’re supposed to be ready for anything, whether it goes to the ground or standing up.

MD: You’re going to turn 37 in March, and you’ve had 13 professional fights in your career so far. Looking back, how do you feel about your career up to this point?
HA: You know I would be lying if I said I was satisfied. I’m not satisfied, because I know early in this career, especially on this type of stage, it’s still early for me and I’m still relatively young. I just feel like I’m getting better, and a lot of those guys have already peaked. With me getting better I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I’m learning different things, and it’s a lot better for me now because I have more room to grow; whereas a lot of those guys have already peaked.

MD: Depending on the outcome of that Gusmao fight coming up, how soon would like to get in there again, and who do you think that fight might be against?
HA: I plan on winning the fight in Vegas. That’s my plan, and that’s what I’m telling myself every single day. I would love to fight anyone who is a top fighter in the world. I’ve said this time and time again, but I wouldn’t mind fighting Anderson Silva. He is at the top of the game. I wouldn’t mind fighting any of those guys that are at their peak or at the top of their game right now, because if you want to get better you have to fight the guys that are at the top of their game. Machida, any of those guys. Any of those guys that are in the top five, I want to go up against.

MD: Regardless of who the current titleholder is, who do you feel is the best LHW in the world right now?
HA: You know Rashad Evans, right now, really has the total package. He’s a great wrestler, and he’s improved his punching over the years. You’re just not going to take him down, so I think overall they got it right this time. He’s kicked people and knocked them out. He’s knocked them out with his fists, and he’s taken people down. Right now, he’s probably the one with the total package.

MD: We obviously know that you’re a very strong and powerful striker. What do you feel is the most underrated part of your game?
HA: Well, you know what - my wrestling. I think it’s the same with any wrestler. I’ve never even had to go to my back, so it’s just the adjustment of having to do that. I’ve been so strong with my striking and kicking and all of that. I’ve rarely had to go to the ground in any situation of training. So right now it’s more of drilling, drilling, drilling that, because you still have to deal with the guys who loved to do that. Versus before I even got to the UFC, I never had to worry about that. Now with me drilling, drilling, drilling every single day, I’m going to be more prepared. Drilling, drilling, drilling every day. It would be my wrestling, because I’m known in the amateur circuits for slamming people on their necks, so a lot of people just don’t know that. Once I find a groove they’ll soon find out.

MD: Where do you currently train? I know you’re trainer is Mick Doyle, so I’m wondering are you still at that gym or have you brought in some jui-jitsu coaches to help you with grappling?
HA: Mick Doyle is still my coach, and we’re currently working with some people in Colorado. I’m still doing some things out there in Chicago, so we’re just trying to go all over the place. You have to get in, and you have to drill. That’s the key, because everyone is doing the exact same things. Everyone is doing jui-jitsu, everyone is grappling, everyone is boxing. It’s the time you have to put into drilling. You have to drill your boxing, you have to drill your jui-jitsu, you have to drill your grappling. You have to drill all of that, so it doesn’t matter where you go because if you’re not drilling, you’re not working.

MD: So repetition is your main focus right now?
HA: That’s it. A lot of reps on the ground, a lot of reps in the ring. There is not one day that goes by where I’m not sparring.

MD: In 2000, you donated one of your kidneys to your daughter. People always talk about giving their life for loved ones, and doing anything to help them in times of need. Tell us what goes into that thought process. Did you gain any new perspective on life, or was it just something that needed to be done?
HA: There was no thought process. You do it or you do it. There was no thought process. When your child needs something like that, you don’t think about it. You get your butt right under the knife and get it done. That’s what I did. There was no thinking about it, just take it.

MD: And is she healthy now?
HA: She’s doing great, she’s doing fine. She’s doing wonderful, and she’s just being a teenager.

MD: I want to thank you for taking the time to sit down with us at MMASpot.net. Being from Omaha, it’s a real pleasure to get to know one of the prominent figures in the city. I look forward to your fights coming up, and I wish you the best of luck. Is there anything you would like to say, or anyone you would like to acknowledge before we wrap this up?
HA: I try to be a good person. There is no reason for a guy, in my situation, to be mad. There is no reason at all when the fans are the ones who are paying your salaries. That’s why anyone asking for an autograph, or anyone asking for a little part of me, that’s a blessing. A lot of guys don’t see that. I worked construction for ten years. Now, I can go back to doing construction, or I can go back to training and doing what I want to do. You have to respect that fact; that the fans are the ones that made you, and I respect that 100%. Those guys are helping me pay bills and helping me feed my kids, so anyone asking anything of me, we’re good. I’m good with that. All I’m doing is being me. I want to thank all of my sponsors that have helped me the last couple of years. I want to thank my gym, and Mick Doyle. I want to thank my family, and again, I want to thank the fans. If it weren’t for the fans, I wouldn’t be talking to you guys today.

Find the full interview here: http://www.mmaspot.net/showthread.php?p=98991#post98991

That part is confusing. I think he meant as a wrestler, but I'm not sure.

He's  a good dude.

I think he just meant that up until getting absolutely destroyed there, it was never a problem. I know exactly what he means.

I'd never had a problem dealing with getting punched in the face, until someone punched me in the face.

i hope the ufc doesnt cut this guy before he gets the chance to improve his ground game

Flying Omoplata - i hope the ufc doesnt cut this guy before he gets the chance to improve his ground game

They seem to have some regard for him in that he is still around. After reading the interview I am definitely a fan now.

HA: There was no thought process. You do it or you do it. There was no thought process. When your child needs something like that, you don’t think about it. You get your butt right under the knife and get it done. That’s what I did. There was no thinking about it, just take it.

That right there is why Houston Alexander is the man.

ttt for honesty

Great quote: "You should not grease your body at all, period. This is not a bad porn. You don’t grease your body"


And for the interviewer, the grease fight they are talking about is someone else. His fight with Todd Allee was a no contest because he said Houston knee'd him to the head from sidemount I think. The other one was that video that everybody put up when Houston came on the scene, Chuck Parmalee or whatever.

Made some good money on the +400 line Houston had versus Jardine...

Cool guy. Hope he can improve his ground game & become the LHW gatekeeper of the UFC or something...


"I've rarely had to go to the ground in any situation of training."

They don't do ANY bad position training? WTF!? For crying out loud start sparring from bad positions.