by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
With Sportfight 14 just weeks away from kicking off 2006′s MMA action, the card continues to fill up with intriguing match-ups. Among the feature bouts on the January 6th show is a match between two former members of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, Alex Schoenauer and Lodune Sincaid.
Schoenauer, a member of the Las Vegas Combat Club, will be returning to Sportfight for the third time with the hopes of building a winning streak that will lead to his return to the UFC. As Alex told MMA Weekly, the fight between he and Sincaid comes as something of a coincidence.
“Actually Lodune has been trying to contact me wanting to fight me,” said Alex. “I’m not sure why he was, but Sportfight called me up and asked me if I wanted the fight and I said, ‘sure why not.’ I’m just training (for him) like I would everybody else; I’m not going to take him lightly. I might do a little stand up with him because I think that will be more exciting for the fans and plus I want to see where my stand-up is. It should be good and fun.”
When asked if he felt an odd sense of déjà vu fighting a former member of the cast of TUF 1 outside the UFC, Alex said, “Lodune wasn’t in the house very much. He was only there a couple of weeks, so I didn’t really get to hang out with him too much. It’s not like me fighting Forrest (Griffen) or Stephan (Bonnar), I’m pretty close with most of the guys, but since he wasn’t there as long as the other guys it’s like I know him but that’s about it. I haven’t seen him very much at all, in fact I haven’t seen him since the show, so it’s just like fighting another guy that I just happen to know a little bit.”
If Sincaid thinks that Schoenauer will be the same fighter he was during TUF 1, he will be sorely mistaken. As Schoenauer explained, “If he wants to think that, let him think that, but of course I’m training every day so I hope my game has gotten better. Plus when you’ve got Randy (Couture) taking you down and punching you in the head every day and Mike Pyle doing it also, you tend to get to a little bit better. Or at least be able to take a lot of punches before you decide to call it quits [laughs].”
Schoenauer is of course referring to his ongoing training at the UFC Training Center with some of the top fighters around. According to Alex the experience is, “Awesome, we have a good variety of different fighters in different weight classes. Of course we’ve got Randy, Mike Pyle, Jay Heiron, Heath Herring and Frank Mir who come in every so often, Forrest Griffen, and Randy usually brings in a couple guys in and out. So we get a lot of different guys coming and going along with the basic guys that are there, so it’s real good to train there.”
Along with training Schoenauer has been fighting quite a bit lately, more so than he had been in previous years of fighting. Alex hopes that the additional fights will help him better shape himself into the fighter he wants to become. Most recently Schoenauer returned from Alaska with a win over a very game Ricky Shivers.
“It went pretty good, it was a pretty decent show up there,” commented Alex. “The guy was a little tougher than I thought, I was kind of taking him lightly, he was tall and lanky. He was like 6’5″ and weighed in pretty light so I didn’t think he’d be that strong, but he was. I came out, leg kicked him, did the Bas Rutten leg kick, busted his ribs and then took him down and ground ‘n pounded him. We got back up and I got a double-leg takedown and right before the end of the round I arm barred him, it was pretty good.”
While the fight was favorable to Alex, being a native of Argentina and living in Las Vegas made for the Alaskan winter not so favorable. “I did not like it at all. There was snow everywhere, you couldn’t see the lanes on the road, the weather sucked [laughs], it was way too cold for me. Any time it’s warm out I’ll go fight up there, but they’ll have to pay me quite a bit to go back up there when it’s cold [laughs]. Everything else was good, for a small show it well organized, they took care of the fighters pretty good and the fans were good, but it’s just too cold there right now.”
When looking back over 2005 Schoenauer seems happy with the way things have gone, even if at times it has been a rough outing. Ending the year with a win and a supportive group of people around him has put Alex in a good mood heading into the New Year.
“It was a pretty good year,” said Schoenauer. “I’m lucky to be healthy and training every day and be able to take fights. Hopefully I want to end the year like that and start next year like that. I’m pretty fortunate to train with the guys that I train with. I’m comfortable in Las Vegas, I have a lot of guys pushing me and looking out for me, so it’s awesome and great, I couldn’t ask for anything more other than to try to keep winning. After the TV show I learned what I needed to work on and kept evolving on those things that make me a more complete fighter and it’s been going pretty well.”
As for goals for 2006, Alex made it clear he knows exactly where he wants to be headed when he said, “I want to get a couple belts and be one of the top fighters out there and keep winning. Maybe the UFC will call me back and I’ll go back there and showcase my skills that I’ve developed since my last fight there.”
Alex concluded, “I want to get a shout out to Tapout, Bob Lagratta, my sponsors, and the Las Vegas Combat Club. I want to say to the fans come out to the show. It should be an awesome fight, exciting, and fun. Sportfight always puts on a great show so the fans should enjoy themselves.”