Houston Alexander will meet fellow UFC veteran Razak Al-Hassan on Saturday. | Photo: Dave Mandel
It was the loss that prompted his release from the UFC, but Houston Alexander still contends that he beat “Kimbo Slice” at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale in December 2009 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The bout seemed destined to be a crowd pleaser, as Alexander’s dangerous punching power was sure to mesh well with Ferguson’s desire to engage on the feet. The end result was not what people expected. The fighters circled each other in the Octagon for the majority of the contest, and Ferguson held on for an uneventful decision victory.
Alexander does not have a problem with the pink slip that soon followed, but he believes he did enough that night to earn the nod from the judges.
“The organization will do what they want to do; it’s their organization,” he told Sherdog.com. “I still to this day think that I won the fight, even by [points]. I’m not worried about anybody else’s opinion. All I can do is roll with the punches.”
That defeat -- followed by another setback against Joey Beltran a little more than a month later -- seemed to suggest the Omaha, Neb., resident was nearing the end of his MMA career. Fast forward to the present day, however, and the 39-year-old radio disc jockey is still going strong.
Riding a three-fight winning streak, Alexander looks to continue his momentum against fellow UFC veteran Razak Al-Hassan in the MMA Fight Pit “Genesis” main event on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M. Losses to Kyle Kingsbury and former WEC champion Steve Cantwell prompted Al-Hassan’s release from the UFC in 2009. He has since won four of his last five bouts, falling in his most recent appearance to Dwayne Lewis at Maximum Fighting Championship 27. The 29-year-old Roufusport product has earned seven of his 11 victories by submission.
Quick knockouts of Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara earned Alexander notoriety for his heavy hands. Now training at the Premier Combat Center with the likes of Ryan Jensen, Jake Ellenberger and Jason Brilz, he feels confident about facing Al-Hassan anywhere the fight goes.
“I feel great about this matchup. We’ve got a lot of pros in our facility, so [on] any given day I can be matched up with anybody,” he said. “I feel more confident going to the ground because you got guys [here] like Ryan Jensen, who’s probably one of the best black belts in the game.”
While people remember Alexander best for his wins over Jardine and Sakara, he seems proud of his recent streak, which includes a come-from-behind technical knockout triumph over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at Shark Fights 13. He points out that he might be at four wins in a row if a March 2010 bout against Justin Grizzard had not been declared a no-contest after a second-round eye poke.
“I don’t know how you get poked in the eye while you’re getting punched,” he said.
Another disappointment came when a proposed rematch with James Irvin at Shark Fights 14 fell through when Alexander suffered an injury and Irvin tested positive for suspected use of a performance-enhancing drug. Irvin knocked out Alexander in eight seconds at UFC Fight Night 13 in 2008.
Between his jobs as a disc jockey and as a fatherhood coordinator for Lutheran Family Services, taking care of his kids and his training routine, it has been well-documented that Alexander keeps one of the most hectic schedules in the sport today. When it comes time to get in the cage, all he cares about is putting on entertaining fights. At this point in his career, it does not really matter where.
“If one of these days I’m blessed to be back in the UFC and to be in primetime, that’d be great,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on beating anybody they put in front of me.”