Houston Alexander knows a little something about making the most of an opportunity. When the 37-year-old Omaha, Nebraska resident debuted in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2007, he needed just one minute and 49 seconds combined to dispatch of both Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara in devastating, knockout fashion.
As he prepares for the biggest fight of his eight-year career this Saturday night against Internet sensation Kimbo Slice (3-1) at The Pearl at The Palms Casino in Las Vegas (SPIKE, 9ET), Alexander (9-4, 1 NC) flashes back to when he entered the organization nearly three years ago. Gearing up for what could be one of the most talked-about fights in UFC history, Alexander realizes that another huge opportunity presents itself this weekend.
“This is a very important fight for me and the people back in my community,” Alexander, a single parent raising six children, said. “I’m putting pressure on myself to do well in this fight. We stepped up the training and it’s got even more intense than ever before. On Saturday night, it’s going to be something people have never even seen of me. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been.
“When the UFC asked me about this fight, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘wow,’” Alexander continued. “It didn’t take me long to accept this fight. Kimbo and I come from similar fighting backgrounds. We have a lot in common and this could do big things for our careers. This fight means a lot to both of us.”
With the fight being contested at a catchweight of 215 pounds, Alexander believes the bout with Slice is a perfect chance to show new dimensions to his mixed martial arts attack. Originally considered a pure striker, Alexander has worked hard to improve his wrestling and grappling over the past two years. While he wouldn’t mind standing and banging with the 35-year-old Slice, Alexander admitted that he is a more refined fighter than ever before.
“This is going to be a great fight,” Alexander said, flashing his usual, contagious grin. “But it may not just be an all-out brawl. We’ve both worked on becoming more complete fighters and I honestly don’t think it’s going to be just a brawl. Both camps are coming in with game plans and both of us are ready to make a mark on Saturday night. I’m getting fired up just thinking about it.”