Sports by the Numbers MMA

The line between profound and ridiculous is mighty thin.


Ten months isn't such a long time. It comes and goes in a flash most of us only remembering bits and pieces of our own life, let alone someone else's. However, that's not the case for Houston Alexander. We all remember the last ten months of his life with clarity.

The Great...Alexander earned the moniker when he stunned everyone by demolishing Keith Jardine at UFC 71 last May. He did it in such an overstated manner that we fans couldn't help get excited about this man who pledged to bring real excitement to the sport.

Then less than four months later Alexander struck again by blasting Alessio Sakara at UFC 75 in September. Maybe this guy was great. He'd destroyed two tough fighters and did it with a certain panache that almost all of us loved. Stories of his life, his giving of his kidney to his daughter, his training, his dealings with the Omaha community. All of it was shoved onto our computer this guy really was great!

The good...Thiago Silva was not impressed. At least he didn't seem to be leading up to his November 17 bout with Houston Alexander. And then when the fight started all us Alexander the great converts watched in horrible dismay as the now famed puncher tied up and tumbled to the ground with Silva. There it was a matter of time, Silva on top using Alexander's head like a punching bag and the fight was stopped...well maybe he had shown flashes of greatness, but we jumped the gun? Maybe he's Alexander the good!

The Fluke...Eight seconds happens even faster than ten months and at UFC Fight Night 13 James Irvin needed just eight seconds to finish Alexander the fluke. Dismay, nope, more like disdain! This guy has a glass jaw, he's a nobody and he's been exposed. He might as well slip back into the woodworks of Omaha, Nebraska...Houston Alexander the fluke is definitely not in the house anymore!

Wow, what a rise and fall. But was any of it, from great to fluke and everywhere in between, deserved?

The answer, a resounding not really...How can we fans be blamed, we appreciate that at least one of the reasons we love MMA is because we thrive on adrenaline. We stand on the edge and search for that next wave so we can dive in head first and bask in the heart thumping energy.

Over the course of the last ten months, for many of us Houston Alexander was that wave, even though he really wasn't.

At the risk of sounding stupid let me take from the sage advice of Forest Gump's mother (God rest her soul) Houston Alexander is as Houston Alexander was us who magnified his recent life turning it into a gigantic box of chocolates, he just lived it.

He went out and fought, he won, and the vast majority screamed that he was great. He lost just as spectacularly as he'd won and that same majority, screamed that he was a fluke. The truth is, he's somewhere in between!

Yes he was that wave of adrenaline, yes he was exciting, but he was not as great as we thought. And yes he's been pummeled twice, yes his last loss was shocking, but he's no fluke.

He's a fighter and he's going to go out and fight. Sometimes that means that he will win big, sometimes that means he will lose big. They all do, it's the nature of the sport. And sure it's okay for us fans to swing from one side to the other, to scream for or against, it's the nature of being a fan. But we also have to remember that the truth is usually somewhere in between.

So...Houston Alexander the great, the good, the fluke? Let's just call him Houston Alexander.

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