Houston Alexander is a man of many talents.
The Nebraska native is a fighter, a DJ, a single father of six.
And he's on the comeback trail.
After getting off to a tremendous start in the UFC, he finished his first stint for the promotion with four consecutive losses but with a third round TKO over Brian Albin this past June, "The Assassin" has now won three straight. His current streak includes an incredible come-from-behind knockout of former UFC fighter Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou last fall.
Alexander will be headlining the main event of tonight's (August 13, 2011) inaugural MMA Fight Pit pay-per-view, "Genesis," against fellow UFC alumni Razak Al-Hassan and he spoke with MMAmania.com about his goals, his side job as a DJ and his fight with Kimbo Slice.
But first, he discusses his upcoming fight:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'm interested in how this fight got put together. Who approached who and how it ended up being the main event of this upcoming pay-per-view?
Houston Alexander: My manager Monte Cox put it all together. We wanted a quality opponent, working our way towards making it back to the big show and Razak [Al-Hassan] just fought in the UFC so that was a perfect opportunity for us.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Razak Al-Hassan is a submission fighter and I was wondering if that's something you're concerned about coming into this fight, especially because you had your issues on the ground in the past.
Houston Alexander: I'm not concerned about any submission guys or anything. I've got a great camp over at Premiere Combat Center and we've got a great group of guys. We've got Ryan Jensen, Jason Brilz and Jake Ellenberger, all the guys I'm working with at any point in time. I'm not worried about his submission game right now. I feel very comfortable with my ground game. I've made a lot of strides in the past few years.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What do you think about the fact that Al-Hassan has been working Eric "Red" Schafer, a guy who was able to defeat you a couple years ago?
Houston Alexander: The fact that he does, that's good and all but I'm not the same fighter I was a couple years ago. Also, I was injured in that fight with Schafer and a lot of people don't know that. That's water under the bridge, though. He can train with whoever he wants to train with and it still doesn't change the fact that he's not gonna be ready for me come Saturday night.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'm very interested in talking about that Sokoudjou win at Shark Fights 13. You had a really rough first round, but then you came back and destroyed him in the second. It was really emotional for you. Can you talk about that fight and what you were feeling?
Houston Alexander: Oh yeah, it was very emotional. We trained hard for that fight and the emotion of not giving up and thinking about my family and friends, my six kids back home, it just gave me that extra "oomph" to keep going brother. Any time like that where you can weather the storm and come out on top, it felt really good for that to happen. It was very emotional because I thought about all my people back home.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'm also interested in the quick turnaround for this fight. You accepted this fight and it's been less than two months since you had a tough fight with Brian Albin that went into the third round. Can you talk about making that quick turnaround especially because you hadn't fought for over nine months before that?
Houston Alexander: You know what, brother? I'm used to fighting once a week when I was coming up in MMA so fighting every two months or fighting once a month would be nothing to me. Once you've been through what I went through when I started out, it feels like these guys are getting pampered, man. I stay in shape, I stay in the gym and I'm always ready to go.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You talked about your gym and how you work with Jake Ellenberger. He's got a huge fight coming up against Jake Shields. How's he looking?
Houston Alexander: Yeah, this is the biggest fight of Jake's career and he's always looking good. He's staying in the gym like I do. He has a great camp that he trains out with in California and he has a great camp back home so he's ready man. I think he's got a fantastic chance of beating Shields.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've got an interesting career on the side of fighting, working as a DJ in the Omaha. That's pretty unique compared to most fighters. Can you talk about the impact you have on the hip-hop scene back in your hometown?
Houston Alexander: You know what? I've been a part of the hip-hop scene in Omaha for a very long time. What I've been doing with the radio lately is, all the guys, the independent artists with independent music who are interested in hip-hop or other things, they're breaking new records from all over the country and all over the world. The format for my show is to break in new music and the past few years we've been breaking new music, giving these guys a voice.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've mentioned in the past that your big goal was to get back to the UFC. How close do you think you are to doing that?
Houston Alexander: We're pretty close to getting back man. Right now, I'm not worried about getting back right away but I'm worried about fighting quality opponents for my fans. We worried about that, worried about taking these guys down one by one and if that just so happens to earn me a trip back to the UFC, it happens. We'll definitely be ready.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Your last fight in the UFC, I know Dana White wasn't exactly happy about it. Can you talk about what went wrong in the Kimbo Slice fight?
Houston Alexander: I don't think anything went wrong in the Kimbo fight. We had the gameplan being laid, we followed it and whether it was a popular decision or not, who cares? It shows that we weren't going to have the state of mind to follow a gameplan and not be the gorillas that they wanted us to be. It ended up going in Kimbo's favor. I still think I won that fight point-wise. I kicked that guy like a million times and he punched me a couple times so it is what it is. They wanted to see two gorillas go at it just punching like crazy and I didn't do that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): My last question for you is, in a perfect world, how would you like this fight to play out against Razak Al-Hassan?
Houston Alexander: I don't have to be in a perfect world to tell you how it's gonna play out brother. I'm gonna punch this guy down, I'm gonna knee him, stalk and knee him and gonna be going after him with relentless pursuit. I'm not worried about pretending how it's going to go down, that's how it's gonna go down.
So what do you think Maniacs?
Can Houston Alexander still make one last run to fight in the UFC? Or did he burn those bridges in his last few fights?