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Houston Alexander: A grateful and enthusiastic fighter

Right now, Houston "The Assassin" Alexander couldn't be happier. After all, he's 2-0 in the UFC and is fast becoming a crowd favorite for his devastating power and willingness to mix it up on the feet. But Alexander is about a whole lot more than that.

He's about music. Specifically, he's a very well known DJ in Omaha that plays "independent music from all over the world," according to his own words. "I've got a show with NRG Media 106.9 in Omaha, Nebraska called Sunday Nite Raw. . . I play independent music from all over the country, hip hop and R and B."

Alexander is also a well-known graffiti artist that still does walls and recently completed a project for Red Bull. Beyond that, he's very dedicated to spreading the true word on hip hop through his Culture Shock School Tour. Basically, this involves going into elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges to teach about the hip hop culture. "The hip hop culture has gotten a lot of negative imagery through the music, on air, through the videos," he says. "A lot of kids are brought up not knowing anything about the culture itself. We teach them who the pioneers are."

What's more, he tells the kids that real hip hop is about the music, dance, and art. Not all of that commercial stuff.

On top of the fighting, graffiti, hip hop teachings, and radio, Alexander is also a parent. But when it comes to fighting, The Assassin seems able to put everything else on the backburner. And speaking of fighting, here's what a man with enough confidence to still thank the fans humbly had to say. How does it feel to be 2-0 in the UFC?

Alexander: Oh man, it feels great to be 2-0 in the UFC. What do you think that Chuck Liddell's loss to Keith Jardine, a guy that you knocked out, does for your marketability and where you stand in the UFC?

Alexander: I think my stock went up 52% brother (laughing). I thought it was an interesting match up when they first announced it. I thought that they were kind of evenly matched and it could've went either way. Fortunately, the guy we won over won, so that makes us look even better. Did the maturity coming from being in your thirties give you an advantage coming into the Jardine fight in terms of knowing what that fight meant to your career and handling it?

Alexander: Yeah, a lot of people probably would've folded under the pressure, all those people and the hype around it. Experience in the media and radio and people in general (helped). It was really comfortable being in the hype down for the first time. In your first UFC fight, you certainly proved that you have a jaw in that you were hit hard by Jardine and managed to come back.

Alexander: When it first initially happened he hit me so hard I didn't feel like I got hit. It was an interesting strike. Yeah, you also showed some pretty devastating power and fast hands. In your second fight against Sakara, another guy that likes to bang, you showed some pretty devastating skills inside, especially those knees. One part of your game that UFC fans don't know much about yet, however, is your ground game. How strong are your wrestling skills, your submission skills, etc.?

Alexander: If you watched the Sakara fight. . . I had him in the half guard and just kind of tossed him over. My ground game is just as good as my up top game. A lot of people just need to know that I'm a great wrestler, great grappler, and great at jiu-jitsu. So, I'm very evenly matched. People have to get past the first line of defense to see the second line. Fortunately, people haven't gotten past the first line yet. Your name is lighting up message boards, as people really seem drawn to the way you fight. Your explosiveness, your willingness to stand and bang, and your clear hope to end fights are some of the things that the fans are talking about. How does it feel to almost immediately have become somewhat of a crowd favorite?

Alexander: I work pretty hard for the average fan. I fight the way a fan would want to see a guy fight. I'm a fan of the sport also. If I'm sitting in the audience, I want to see those guys really go at it because that's what I paid hard (earned) money for. I'm trying to give the fans what they want. Win or lose, I'm trying to leave it all on the line for them. I've got a job to do, that's what I get paid to do. Our job is to make it exciting for the media and the fans. . . That's what I've been trying to do. There's been a lot of chatter regarding the light heavyweight division and future match ups with so many rather surprising happenings recently. It's left a lot of people wondering who's going to fight whom next. Who would you like to fight next?

Alexander: That's an interesting question, man. But taking the political way out, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter who they put in front of me. As long as the guy's ready, I'm ready. . . It don't matter who, brother. It could be the guy on top of the charts, it could be the guy on the bottom of the charts; it just doesn't matter.

(Note: Thomas Gerbasi of the UFC is now reporting that Houston Alexander will be taking on undefeated Thiago Silva at UFC 78.) I'll throw something out there for you. After seeing you fight Sakara, one of the thoughts that popped into my head was a match up between yourself and Wanderlei Silva would be a lot of fun to watch because of that inside (clinch) game. What do you think about a match up with "The Axe Murderer"?

Alexander: (laughing) I haven't seen too much film on him, to be honest. But the fight I did see where he fought Rampage was a pretty good fight. He kind of goes after it. The guy's just kind of free. It's real interesting. . . Recently, you signed with SFX Worldwide. Tell me about them and the reasons why you decided they were a good match.

Alexander: (They're) one of the largest sports agencies in the world, go figure that (laughing). They go after it; they get a lot of good clients. . . I'm hoping to expand on a whole bunch of ventures other than fighting. Those guys are trying to get me involved in a lot of stuff because I'm really active in the hip hop community and I'm really active in helping kids. Anything you'd like to say to your fans in closing?

Alexander: I want to thank the fans for the support. A lot of fans hit me up on MySpace and things like that and I can't answer them all; I really am busy throughout the day. But I appreciate the love and the support. It's something I cherish very dearly. I never turn down a signature; I never turn down conversation because a lot of the fighters don't know that it's a privilege (that) they're in this situation. It's a privilege that anyone wants your time. Thank you very much, Houston. I know you're busy and am looking forward to your next fight.

Alexander: No problem, brother. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

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