by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Alex Karalexis, from season one of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ squares off with season two’s Jason Von Flue on January 16th live on Spike TV. Karalexis spoke with MMAWeekly Radio about his training, his opponent, and addressed the internet drama following comments he made in an interview about Jason Von Flue. Sixteen fighters in sixteen days continues with Alex Karalexis.
Karalexis recently relocated from the East Coast to Sin City, Las Vegas, Nevada. Asked why he made the move, Karalexis responded, “I came out here to train with Baroni and Laimon, and everything like that. I felt like I had done what I could back on the East Coast, and if I wanted to keep on fighting and make the next step, this was it.”
There’s a history of fighters moving to Vegas and getting caught up in the distractions that a city like Vegas offers. Asked how he’s able to avoid the nightlife allure of Vegas, Alex said, “I think I’ve been working sixty to seventy hours since I was sixteen years old, a week. I got into this sport a little late, but I can appreciate it. You know what I’m saying? I always say, I know what it’s like to frame houses in the dead of winter in New England, and I like it a lot better out here. That’s like my motivation. I’ve been there and done that, so I kind of appreciate everything and every opportunity I’ve got out here, and I don’t want to let it slip through the cracks.”
Karalexis continued, “I knew if I had gotten caught up in that going out hitting the clubs at night, stuff like that, chances are you’re going to miss your cardio session in the morning. Chances are you might not make afternoon training which would put me back to framing houses in winter in Massachusetts. Me spending a Friday night in, it’s paid off now. Now I have the opportunity to do more things. That’s how I looked at it.”
It didn’t hurt that he arrived in Vegas broke. He said, “I came out here with two duffle bags, a ten speed and no f#%king money. I didn’t go out at all. I was all strictly training.”
Karalexis has a good group of guys he’s been training with since the move to Vegas. He said, “We’ve got a really good group over at the training center: Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron. Randy [Couture] is there. Forrest [Griffin] is there. Over at Laimon’s, there’s Joe Stevenson. There’s a good, good group of guys out here; Alex Schoenauer, and then just a bunch of other guys that are on the brink of being in the UFC or whatever. It’s like an open mat forum out here. It’s cool. Everybody is cool. There’s no attitude. Everybody helps each other. It’s great man.”
An interview with Alex Karalexis was recently published online and comments he made about Jason Von Flue sparked some controversy. Karalexis addressed the incident by saying, “I did an interview and what happens is you’re cutting weight training for a fight. You got caught on the in between meals dealing with some personal stuff about trying to get tickets for people; tickets for a sold out show and stuff like that. I just finished sparring. I was ready for my afternoon nap, so he caught me at a bad time. If you look at the title to the article, it says hungry, pissed off, and something. If you look at the article, I stand by everything I said in there.”
Alex added, “I gave him respect for a lot of people saying he doesn’t punch hard. All I said was if you haven’t been inside a cage getting punched by a professional with four ounce gloves, keep your opinion to yourself. I don’t care who you are man, if you get punches with a four-ounce glove, it’s going to hurt especially with a guy who’s got like fifteen professional fights. He’s not the Welterweight Champion of the World, but he’s no slouch. They asked me about, I’ve fought friends in the past and stuff like that. They asked me what I know about him, and I was being honest. I don’t know anything about this kid. I don’t care about this kid. Nothing that happens in this kids
life is going to change mine, so it’s kind of nice to get in there and just fight someone you have no connection with. People put that as me being arrogant or whatever, but I gave him props. I gave the kid props. He’s a fighter man. The kid shows up. He fights. I know that he’s got some ground skills. I know he’s got some leg locks and he’s got some chokes. I don’t know. People hear the ‘F’ word or whatever. Like I said, the last ten years I’ve been on job sites with guys. To me, on the East Coast, it’s natural. It may not be appropriate for everybody, but you know what? If you’re going to be that sensitive, whatever. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me what somebody behind a keyboard thinks. I don’t have time for that. I have time for everybody who writes me emails on my website and stuff like that, but I thought it was just something that got blown out of proportion. I’m not going to apologize for it because, like I said, I could care less about Jason Von Flue. I could care less about him. I have respect for him as a fighter. If that makes me a bad guy, so be it.”
Jason Von Flue entered ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season two house as a replacement for the injured Josh Burkman. He eliminated Jorge Gurgel, the favorite to win the welterweight division contract. He proved to be tough and displayed a ton of heart while on the show. Discussing Von Flue the fighter, Karalexis said, “I see a fighter. I think he fits the definition of a fighter man. The kid comes forward. He doesn’t quit. He doesn’t stop. He pushes the pace. He doesn’t look for breaks in the fight. He’s always looking to end a fight. I think Jason and I are cut from the same mold. Neither one of us are known as technicians, but you know when either one of us steps into the ring, it’s going to be a fight. Styles make fights, and our styles definitely clash, so I think this is going to be a really exciting fight for the fans to see.”
This is the final fight of Alex’s three fight contract with the UFC. Does that add pressure on him to win Monday night? He stated, “This is it for me. After this fight, we’ll have to renegotiate, or see what they’re going to do with me. I was under that three fight deal. This will be my third fight with them . . . I try not to think about it because the way that I look at it is, I train my balls off. When I get in there, I fight. I give the fans, every single one of my fights people are on their fee cheering at the end. My last fight was a prelim. By the time it reran it three hours later on the West Coast it was the main event. They’re always talking about how they want guys who are going to show up and fight, be exciting and stuff. And I think I bring that to the table, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. If they’re true to their word, and that’s what they’re looking for, then they have it in me. There’s really not too much that I”m going to change about me as a fighter to try and get a contract. I think that my style and the way that I handle myself as a profession, I think I’m someone they want to do business with. If not, so be it.”
For more information on Alex Karalexis, visit www.alexkaralexis.com.