Houston Alexander is a former mixed martial artist who competed in the UFC Light Heavyweight division. He is the president of the Houston Alexander Foundation where he teaches schools about the history hip hop through music and art.
Houston Alexander: How are things there in the quarantine? That’S cool? I was just doing some domestic [ __ ] right before you go to a call, so I was just cleaning up man, I’m a clean freak, so always keep so clean. You know yeah, I am. I am to an extent, but this quarantine has made me. Let go a lot of that, my god, whatever I’ll dust later, I can’t uh, I can’t be deal. I can’t be dealing with that right now. It may be worse man, so it’s fine find every little crack and crevice, and I just can’t stand dirt all over this. How uh? How are you staying active? How are you what are you doing with your time? Oh man. You know I’ve been training people whatever ever since this happened – a problem, probably training more people, because I’ve been training people for a long time. But I tried more people now that they can’t go to gyms, so I’ve always had equipment and I’ve always had things at my house to order to train people, no matter what I tell people all the time. If you can’t go to the gym, you always got to be prepared to train it at home and lo and behold, look at that. Everybody wants to come over to my house for some reason to the training you’re doing is at your house, not online yeah. I do I know I because uh you know you can do you do all types of training man, that’s right. I got equipment in my backyard yeah, you know you can you can run on the streets and of course you want to keep distance from people. You know the social distance crap, but uh man does this always wait because people just want to be all they want to do is be told how to do it kind of how to work out. You know that’s it, but I have that equipment in my always had equipment in back of my yard. You know on some tires big tires, always had that then weight, big old school man – you don’t say: oh, that’s, a that’s a great segue to to kind of what you’re doing now. You know a lot of people are like. Oh he’s, finales and ER. I haven’t heard from him in a while. You know he used to be in the UFC. He was knocking out. You know Keith Jardine, that’s like when I’m interviewing that’s what people say. I heard your Canadian accent. I see I told you, I told you is there so so so kind of I mean obviously the Houston Alexander Foundation and stuff like that, but for people who aren’t familiar, what what have you been doing since since you stopped fighting, I know everyone’s all got this Uh this this thing where they said you stop fighting I’ll, never stop fighting. You know I’m always training, I’m always helping people train, I’m always that you engaged just well just because you don’t see them on TV doesn’t mean they’re still not doing what they love to and an inmate or you know boxing wrestling jujitsu. I love doing that stuff. Already so that’s that’s something that we’re always doing all the time. So just because you people are, they don’t see us on TV doesn’t mean that we’re not active in some type of way but uh. I was always doing other things other than MMA. So I was all I was doing, radio I was uh, you know DJing, because I was DJing party. As long as I have been fighting, I you know I had my program. The coaches got schools over are going through the schools and teach the kids about hip-hop culture. You know: that’s slowed down a little bit, but I’ve been doing it ever since uh, since I’ve been fighting too so so uh in the main man was just another piece of my life’s puzzle and it just happened to come together and all of it you know, Kind of coincided together so and once I stopped doing this as much, I started doing this as much so and then and the foundation we just started doing in the past couple years, so all that they would just bring all the things together. So you know training people helping kids, you know helping the community des mannes. All I did was just bring all that stuff together yeah. That means I’ve read a little bit into it into what it does and it’s it’s great to see. People who have like moved on or not necessarily moved on from the sport, but aren’t necessarily you said, aren’t on TV, but they stay active and they give back to the community through martial arts and in your case, through DJing and other things that you other other Interests, you didn’t just go the grid. We talked a little bit about some of the people that you’ve been training and I’m gon na reach out to them. There’S probably this weekend and try to get them on the show and hopefully speak to them. Just uh just kind of give an overview of some of the people. I know we talked about Ron Coleman, jr. and Ellie Ellie grop grap, I think, is how you pronounce her name kind of give an overview. I guess about about them. Well, grandpa’s is a boxer and she’s, probably she I called her a little Joe Frazier because she moves like Joe Frazier, but she is. She has the determination and and and it’s funny to see a woman with so much determination box, you know and but but she’s ahead. She has a lot of tenacity and I think she’s really really good. After watching a lot of footage, a lot of the people and the way she moves and she she’s just she’s – really good box up-and-coming boxer. Now, as far as the MMA goes, Ryan Coleman has been training with me ever since he’s been 15 years old, so he was around for the big bounce on television, although all the other of the smaller fights that we had were doing the clubs and that the Smaller venues and Rhonda said you know, I believe, late 20s, but he’s been around since day, one so, but he’s a four-time heavyweight wrestling champ and at Omaha North High School, which is our high school here in town, Norma ha. He was the last four time heavyweight champion and in in uh in Omaha or in the state of Nebraska. Do that so his wrestling background been wrestling ever since it was two. So I I dare anyone to try to take Ryan Coleman down and he’s a natural heavyweight that moves like a light lightweight. So that’s how that’s how quick he is and and any played football in college. So he he’s an overall beast and uh. So so, and so MMA for him was a natural transition. So he’s been, I’ve been working with him since uh against, as he was 15, but along with him and I’ve been working with Joe Bob Murr and Joe bombers are one of first person to do jiu-jitsu in our area and he was a UFC three. So it’s fine, it’s funny how all those those things come together as bested with a MMA history in Omaha Nebraska, but the Ellie’s been doing boxing for a while, but she you know she’s she’s not becoming and mmm-ma as far as the roommate, when I Coleman is Definitely an up-and-coming Beast. I was I was listening. He was supposed to make his he was supposed to fight this year. Is that correct, yeah couple weeks three weeks ago before the quarantine, so it was about the beat somebody’s ass. You know, but but again, what’s all this even once all this blows over and again, who knows, I think I mean personally, I think 2020 is as far as the vents goes. You know you know what singing major all things on TV with a lot of people involved, and you know until all this, this quarantine and the virus goes away man because it was too serious. It’S a serious deal and I hope everyone’s taking it serious, because uh I’ve had family members already who passed away down south for a lot of from from dividers. So it’s real and and again I’m counting 2020. It might it might get better later in the year, but I come all kinda counting 2020 out man or anything yeah, I’ve kind of written it off. I just kind of been hoping that nothing hits me and just make it to 2021, make it to January 21st without anything and sorry to hear about the tragedies. Obviously, it’s crazy how many people are being affected by it, something you have to deal with man. You move on, you know just it’s live brother yeah, so a lot of people aren’t familiar and I’m not. I honestly did like I’m not a hip-hop guy at all I’ve, I’m country all the way, which is weird for a Spaniard but describe the hip-hop scene there. Your family’s originally from Spain yeah, your Spaniards considered the true Spanish Spanish culture. I think so it depends on who you ask. If you ask someone from Mexico or Puerto Rico, they’ll have something to say about it, but as far as I’m concerned men it it all, originated in Spain. So, as far as I’m concerned, we are the true Spaniards, true Latinos, everybody else is just you know, copying us, you know that’s fat, Spaniards or of African descent. So of course you knew that right. I know that some people in Spain have moved up from from from Africa long long back in the a lot of people, a lot of people of color and people of color. Don’T know that they’re from from from Africa. But you know – and some of you just had a research from the distance, this little small little thing. You need to know what so so the hip-hop scene there in Omaha for those of those people aren’t familiar. It’S it’s really up-and-coming and there’s a lot of a lot of high high level talent. There describe your presence in in the Omaha hip-hop scene that are on it and online, but of what I’ve been doing. I’Ve been in the hip-hop scene for a long time since the eighties I’ve been a b-boy of a pretty rider um. You know I’ve helped out with rap emotions. I’Ve DJ for a lot of a lot of events and, and I’m just gon na part of the scene, since it’s just they want and along with a lot of people, they don’t like. Like groups have came up whether the the rapping groups or or rafi groups, or LA anything along the lines of hip-hop, it probably started in Omaha. About the same time, it started any other City. You know when hip-hop broke in in New York City and it started spreading throughout the country and then from the country throughout the world. You know it probably started at the same time, so I’ve been I’ve been just been active ever since man, it never and never stop, never waver from it, because you know something as a kid that we grew up in alright. Well, we’ll shift the focus here. I guess to to kind of my podcast is mainly anime, so we’ll kind of shift the focus into your MMA career, so the date was May 26 2007. Does that does that date? Is that date edged in your memory as your UFC debut? Do you remember that date, and do you remember that night clearly, or is it just no, no different than any other fight that you had it’s funny, because uh I’ve had over 200 fights and I didn’t – I didn’t read any different from anything and because because I Believed at the time there was no YouTube, so people couldn’t find footage or YouTube might have been new, but I didn’t have footage on there, but I just treated like a like a like a read of the fight, but I do remember the night before I fought. I ran into Dana White and I and look then a white in his eyes, and I told him huh, I’m about to whoop your boys ass. No, that was that was my quote right there. My looked at kneeling down laughing uh, okay, whatever buddy yeah yeah, but you know it was uh yeah. We knew what was going to do to the guy and so uh. What was funny is that uh, my manager said that uh, the Commission wasn’t gon na. Let me fight at first because they thought they thought, because, because of the footage didn’t have on me, they thought that I wasn’t experienced enough to get in the rain and – and he convinced he convinced him – that uh that it was. You know it was gon na happen and then and yeah I mean to you, you did something that guys like Forrest, Griffin and Chuck Liddell can do you finished Keith Jardine, which you know he he’s a legend of the sport legend of the UFC yeah he’s a He’S a great guy I like to Keith Jardine, I his fighting style is everything about him, but you did something that that you know no one else has been able to do really. So is that the highlight? I guess that victory is, that is that the highlight of your career? Do you think, or is there another fight that stands out more so well? There was [ __ ] man again, there was fights before that. There was fights where I’ve broken rings and – and I was slamming people so hard – the middle of the Ring. You know because the ring has boards in between absolutely people saw her to where the board’s broke. So I’ve knocked people out so hard to where they you know they literally would fly through the ring. So it’s all those is all those fights that were fun. Getting up to that point, you know, oh, you know, and this is weird man, because I would fight five times in one night right because you know because again it was almost uh. Almost like the you know, the come oncome all-time type deal coming up in the sport, but you know it is what it was. I thought I fought all over and so fighting in the arena at the time. You know I fought a small arenas: big arenas, little real medium arenas. So when I got hurt when I got there, you know it was nothing. It was nothing to me today. If you go back and watch the footage you just watch my face, I’m just like. Okay, good, is there any fight where you look back and you’re like? Oh, I wish I could run that one back I can go back and although all the fights lice are lost in the UFC, because you know I’m gon na be honest with you, I lost those fights because of me. You know, and the last reason why I say that it’s because uh um I had a coach coach Alexander, who I still you know, talked to who said to me back then you already know how to fight you know it did. All you have to do is defend me and you take down okay, and you could because he was a natural, rounded wrestling coach for four years. But when your transition is the most important part of MMA and people, don’t realize how important transition for you to go to boxing jujitsu, judo and and has to all be ever effort and back then rule coming up. We had to go to across country to get you Jitsu or to get the best engines or down stops kickboxing or return to Canada. They get some kickboxing, you know back, then we didn’t have all the all the MMA martial arts at one Jam. So it’s easier for everyone now, because you know you get you get to have everything and you know you’ve got your training partners all over the same gym. We had to go all over to get to get it to get on our different marsoc’s, but um. It’S just funny funny to see the progression and I and I love the progression of a how or where the sport is, but it just seems like there’s a lot of people to follow and so by then you had your heroes and your villains. Yeah. You have you have the heroes and villains, but there’s so many of them is like. Where does everyone at so? It may have been interesting and I wish I could take back all those fights, because now, with the with the intelligence that I have my trailer and my transition is so effortless effortless right now, Ephram it just so much. No vanilla is no effort into my transition right now. It’S very unfortunate that happen later. Do you think how do you think you’d fare if you were to get in the sport today rather than you know that so many years ago? I think if you were to be, I think it would be easy, because no, I I don’t see well, you know, there’s a lot of great athletes out there. I don’t see any sad, oh yeah, there’s no Chuck Liddell’s there’s you know those characters are long gone. Yeah yeah, we’ll see said you see yeah mmm yeah. I mean Mike Perry like Perry, not pretend behind them. I got ta make up a story, touch damage. You know there’s only a few few, those guys left, because but even that they’re making up after their fight their fight, yeah the Diaz brothers. He could make a case floor and stuff like that. But you know who doesn’t do that? Who favor guys right not to be now yeah? How long can you be a good leave? There’S a play. Man, you know you, you see him, you see guys sucker, [, __ ] to him is like okay. Then he gets there and whoop their ass and he does all the thing he did in his last fight worried. You know he he’s going after everybody. You know that’s to me. That’S that’s. You know, that’s that’s the saddest [ __ ]! That’S what that! That’S! What that’s what scares people about about you, you when you into that ring man? I can’t do. I can’t do this against this guy, because he it he’ll, do this. So this is it’s interesting to see man. How is the is he your favorite fighter today or is there another fight? All with the oil fighter to beat was one of my favorite fighter and uh? The kid I keep forgetting Magellan was named from Miami that uh that knocked out the wrestler with the knee Naz Miguel, Jorge lousy job. That’S another guy he’s a real, he doesn’t play yeah and those were three guys. I’M looking at right now that I always enjoy watching you know, do you uh? Do you ever get the itch to be like just want to go back in there and fight like on a cage fight, not necessarily training? No, no. I mean I’m trying to do day, so this does nothing but uh it. If I had the opportunity to get in the ring, I would love to get it right and – and you know it doesn’t matter, it is a matter how old you are. I did if you’re physically able, because I’ve never got, really really hurts they’re dealing into me. Please I would love to get in there who would just like guys play football, I’m sure they they’re out there playing catch football or playing. I played football was so awesome. It’S NFL people for charity and I’m telling you that that’s a whole different level, man hey even playing with some guys who retired that’s the whole bit for level, so I’m sure it’ll be a whole different level with with a guy like me, whoa. Who actually has the thinking game yeah? Of course I would be lying. If I said I wouldn’t want to get back in the cage, octagon or boxing ring they. Let know you we enjoy doing it. It’S what we do yeah it’s. You mentioned football players find a lot of football players like even Herschel Walker, who came out of retirement who liked to fight later in life. He he he had a tremendous success. I find that football players like seem to have a lot of success in martial arts guys like athletes altogether, especially if you’re disciplined enough to learn yard forms, or I have been learning, I’m not for sure. If her, sir, was already doing something, you know, even when he was in football, a lot of people are doing young mixed, martial arts even behind the scenes. So you uh as a MMA in martial arts in general, something that you’ve instilled in your kids is that something they they do as well. But you know what I teach a bullying program at schools. Well – and you know, I believe, MMA instills discipline, discipline and and with my children, you know they they’ve seen me over the years and they’ve seen that the discipline it takes and the dedication it takes me to be a part of a situation like this. So then, that that hasn’t been instilled in my kids, so yeah man, you know it’s real important. Mma is really important in a lot of ways, especially especially when you’re dealing with kids or you could you didn’t, though we can’t find a way. So sometimes you know it amazed the way out. Yeah I find a like. I do. I do a little jiu-jitsu. I know no means am i a martial artist of any sort, but I find the guys there they’re not there, to hurt you either they’re to learn them they’re to grow. That’S the key to succeeding when we’re supposed to when you’re, when you’re practicing it everyone’s learning. Everyone, you know, that’s and sorry not trying to hurt anyone. You know you’re trying to learn and you’re trying and – and you probably notice, that everyone who practices with you or probably even keel, even you know from from from bounces of the last guy order or the smallest gyro. It was probably even killed at your gym. Huh yeah, I first thought the first time I went there. I I got choked out by a 13 year old girl. First time I went to and like you know what like anybody else is i oughtn’t done with us, but that motivated me to go back. You know, and you know now I can choke out guys twice my size who have never gone and I’m I’m a white belt like I’m, not a black belt, I’m not a blue belt, but you learn little tendencies and stuff like that, and the one thing I Like about jujitsu is size goes out the window and you know there’s someone who’s good at jujitsu and someone who doesn’t know anything about you yeah. But you know where you know: I’m getting that like guys, yeah a 265 pound guy who doesn’t have any idea of anything related to martial arts versus what a black belt who is 135? It’S it’s a joke on the Mac and a lot of people. Don’T know! No because again all the coaches up there would have always said this size does matter. It does at some point. It does like you know, but guys like j-lo’s on you know the high level jujitsu guys Royce Gracie proved that too right so is very verge. Tricky tricky martial art, Sam yeah, yeah yeah, and I think you know I come from a swimming and soccer background. I wish I learned jujitsu and basic martial arts, because the discipline you learn is one of the hardest sports. You know, and people realize how how hard swimming is, especially if you’re you willing you doing laughs upon mass upon ms-20 swimming is are definitely yeah. It’S a it’s a cardio based sport, it’s very boring which someone who swim or you have to work every. Yet in your body to be able to to compete in swimming, so you Michael Fiore’s was also Michael Phelps. I was not at that level. I wish I was but I was. I was never at that level. Unfortunately – and I guess, I guess we’ll kind of finish it up with some like non MMA stuff, what what is it you’re doing in your free time there at your house? Are you watching any shows on TV, any movies, I’m always into learning? So if I’m not learning, I’m watching anything on whether it be a smartphone or on laptop or anything, it’s something that has to do with learning at all to all times. So if I’m not learning about history, I’m learning about individuals that are very successful. So you know everyone wants to be a successful in life, so you learn all these tidbits from everyone who who’s lived, a successful life, no you who wouldn’t want to follow Denzel and some of the things that he’s done. There’S a rush or who wouldn’t want to watch interviews with horse Gracie. You know who wouldn’t want to watch interviews with some of the younger guys like the style vendor and and just learn. Just oh it’s always it’s always a learning process moving. Rather so I’m always trying to learn, I don’t care this. It was trying to hook up a cabinet or a boxing movie. I’M always I’m always always trying to learn that and it’s and because life’s always a learning learning experience, yeah yeah, there’s always more to learn. There’S always whether it be the martial arts, like you, said, or history, or anything like that and there’s right now with the technology. That’S out there there’s endless amount of podcasts where you can learn about just about anything. I think it’s a great time to learn, whereas back in the day it was all textbooks and stuff like that, so he kind of stored off about the same time. We start off in the same gym, he’s a he’s the world’s history champion. So if you look up John Henson from he’s from Iowa, but he trains out on Braska, it’s probably one of the top level jiu-jitsu guy, but the first thing they asked him. How did you learn how to do jujitsu? He said from the internet so before you met before he even you know, hit the mat. He was already studying other people on Indian internet, so you know it so he had so I’ll. Never forget what he said and if you watch the jive you, if you go to youtube and watch John Henson, are you you would see, he’s a level yeah? It’S it’s! It’S funny cuz. That kind of when I, the very first two Jitsu class I had. I had someone in the triangle choke and their arm was on the wrong side of the body. So I was just sitting there putting as much pressure as I could, but nothing was happening like he wouldn’t tap and then they were like go back. Watch a video at home and the first thing they said is move its arm to the other side. All it was, but had I watched a video doing any tournaments, you just return it. No, I just I’ve just been rolling, so I voted. I got to do some tournaments. I guess I once quarantines all done officially on my podcast with you, you have you have to make it official. Will you do some tournaments? You just do tournament. I will I will do I will do it. Did you say? Yes? Yes, yes I’ll do some all right. Is that a promise? That’S a promise. Okay, so that’d be cool me. I would love to see. I’Ve watched you on YouTube and I would love to see one of your masters all right man. I appreciate it. Is there any uh people out there who are guess what? What can they follow? You follow you on: where can they get ahold of it? You can watch or they can follow me on all D of the social plat, for social media platforms under Houston, Alexander and they can go to Heath stocks, enter data, calm or Dom, sorry or and chain. They can get our more information about our foundation and all the things that we do for the kids, the community and and again you know this is a caseta to to follow me because my 1 1 well, my main important things that are that I’m doing now Is just doing for our world community, so it no matter where it is we’re needing help and I’m and I’m able to help that’s what I’m trying to do. Man yeah appreciate it. What I like about you is you’re super accessible. I reached out to you asked you if you wanted to come on and you gave me a call and we were talked on the phone for a half hour. So it’s uh, it’s not every day. You see someone like that, so some people get called on themselves. Man and and I’m media for a long time with radio. So I know the importance of accessibility, yeah and and a lot of people a lot of people. Don’T and a lot of people don’t even know how to speak to people because they’re so they’re. So busy being a keyboard warrior online and yeah, so this you got to make you a successful manager you’re trying to make a difference. That’S all all right, wise words. I appreciate it man. I appreciate you taking the time and thanks again so Jim no problem and you remember you made that promise on the spot, guys that you would do your first ornament, yeah and I’ll reward you knocking out Keith Jardine. If I, if I second guess, I’m like that’s. What’S coming, if I don’t do this tournament, you got ta you got ta see. I wish people could see their other videos before before the other videos that they showed the other videos of what we did before that they would really be here, but I’ll do those tournaments, I’m afraid to get knocked out so I’ll be sure to do. I appreciate you man, thank you, sir yeah. Our brother