UFC veteran Houston Alexander scored a much-needed win last night at Shark Fights 13 over fellow UFC veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in a fight that looked to be going to Sokoudjou early on. MMAJunkie.com spoke with Alexander after the fight and got his take on his own stirring come-from-behind victory over “The African Assassin.”
Alexander, who survived a rocky first round to knock Sokoudjou out in the second, said at the post-fight presser that he lived out a lesson he teaches his six children daily.
“My kids, I always tell those guys never give up,” Alexander said. “I proved that you never give up. Never give up.”
“The Assassin” was rocked early in the fight by a solid left hand delivered by Sokoudjou, and Alexander credits his ability to survive the nasty shot to his superior conditioning.
“I think it was a flash (knockdown),” Alexander said. “I really didn’t see it coming because I was trying to get position. Apparently, he got to the position before I did. It was a flash, but the conditioning got me through it, and I ended up getting on top of him the last part of the round.”
Alexander maintained that he knew the importance of conditioning heading into the bout and that he wanted to ensure his ability to recover quickly against a hard-hitting opponent like Sokoudjou.
“We knew that this was going to be a fight,” Alexander said. “The one main thing was that we were able to recover fast. Conditioning was key. I got rocked, but I recovered fast because of conditioning.”
After Alexander turned the tides in the second round with a knee and a follow up combo, he pounded away on Sokoudjou until the referee called the fight. Some are criticizing the referee for taking too long to stop the fight but Alexander stopped short of blasting the ref and said that, for his part, he was just doing his job.
“The ref was just telling me to keep working,” Alexander said. “If he’s telling me to keep working, I’m going to keep working. I was conditioned enough to do it, so I just kept working. I don’t have an opinion. I don’t want to start ripping on the refs. I just did my job. That’s it.”
The Shark Fights card was home to some serious talent last night, and several of the main event fighters were UFC veterans. Alexander believed that the fight card showed that fans will be interested in solid fights no matter the banner name.
“This just showed everyone tonight that no matter who you fight for, as long as it’s a great card, people will see it,” Alexander said. “People will see it – the fans, all the media, and especially the pioneers of MMA because they paved the way.”