Houston Alexander, 50, is heading into the BKFC ring tonight for his second bout in the promotion. He made his bare knuckle debut last summer with a 34-second KO over Wes Combs.
Alexander, who had a fun—and weird—run in the UFC, spoke to MMA Junkie about why he’s still lacing them up (or not in this case) despite getting up there in age.
“At 50 years old, I feel pretty good,” Alexander said. “You know, you take care of your body and I think I’m just as competitive as I was when I first started. So, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m excited about the bareknuckle deal.”
Alexander’s pro MMA debut was in 2001. He was signed to the UFC in 2007 and debuted with a remarkable upset KO win over Keith Jardine. He then TKO’d Alessio Sakara.
The hype train on Alexander soon ran out of steam, though, with stoppage losses to Thiago Silva, James Irvin and Eric Shafer. His last appearance in the Octagon was a bizarre fight with Kimbo Slice in 2009 which ended in a unanimous decision loss.
Since then he’s fought often and everywhere. His most recent MMA appearance was with Primus FC in 2017. Alexander told MMA Junkie that he’s been pretty busy over the span of his career.
“I’ve been doing a lot of things over the years besides fighting. I was working on the foundation, my Houston Alexander foundation, I’ve been doing speaking engagements, I’ve been doing seminars – I’ve been doing a little bit of everything, man. … Throughout these couple of years, I was just doing other things other than MMA. In between all that, I was training. I was sparring with some of the young guns that are coming up, and I’ve always kept my knives sharp.”
Alexander also spoke about his transition to bare knuckle fighting. He revealed that the painful sport isn’t as bad on his hands as it might be for others.
“Fortunate for me, I’ve got all these calluses, rough skin, and all these broken bones. My hands are already broken, but they’re broken in. … Even during pad rounds, we’ve been doing pad rounds with no gloves. So, my hands are equipped for this particular situation. Bareknuckle is something I’ve always done, and like coach says, it’s right up my alley.”
When asked why he’s continuing to fight at 50-years-old Alexander sounded surprised by the question. “If I’m winning at this level, with people in my age group, why not?” he said. “Why not continue to fight, and why not continue to do what I enjoy?”
BKFC Fight Night Omaha goes tonight at 10 PM ET. Alexander is in the co-main event slot, opposite Jason Fish. The main event is Dakota Cochrane vs. Josh Dyer. The event was supposed to be headlined by UFC veteran Bec Rawlings and Britain Hart. However, that fight was cancelled after Hart suffered a medical emergency.