After one year layoff, Alex Russ back on the warpath this Saturday at XKO 16
FORT WORTH, TX, October 16, 2012 – It’s been one year and almost three months removed since then-undefeated Alex Russ sought to make his mark by winning his first championship belt against Steven Peterson at XKO 11. He would fall short that night succumbing to a first round submission but he never uttered a word after the bout.
No excuses, no talk about the future, nothing.
Instead Alex just went back to his “normal” life as a father and developer knowing that he would get back into the gym and one day he would a chance to get back into the win column in MMA someday.
That’s exactly what he’ll get this Saturday night when he takes on Tristan Grimsley as part of the XKO 16 card set for The Gym in Arlington – a chance to get back into the win column and fight like he always does – with no regrets, expectations, or added pressure. Just him doing what he was trained to do.
We spoke to Alex recently to get more on his pre-fight mindset heading into this Saturday’s fight.
Interview – Alex Russ (The GYM)
Thanks for talking to us Alex. Tell us a little bit about your training and where you are now as opposed to when you started.
Oh man, I’m worlds away from the day I’d started training. I’d been in countless fights before I’d started training in mixed martial arts and I’d never thrown a single kick. I came into MMA with a background in wrestling, street fighting, and the growing pains of having two older brothers. Though very short lived, the first couple of gyms I’d attended were Travis Lutter BJJ and Arlington MMA. I’ve currently been at THE GYM for nearly 5 years now. I’d have to say I’ve improved all around but more notably my aptitude for combat has been the largest improvement.
What motivates you to compete in this sport?
I just love to fight. It’s never been about the money. It’s never been about the crowd. It’s never really about my opponent for that matter… It’s like having dreams of being a titan. It’s an incredible feeling to drop etiquette, unravel social standards, and allow myself to fight for my livelihood like any other animal.
What’s the hardest thing about being a fighter?
As a fighter you have the opportunity to live at the edge of your ego. You think you can do something and you go and publicly try it in an arena. You go and try it, and then win, lose, or draw you fight to hold yourself together and remain steady afterwards. It’s all hard. None of it is easy. Every day we’re fighting getting ready for a fight. People commonly use the term “a fight” when describing difficult situations. As a fighter, we’re doing just that, and everyday… it’s a fight, all of it: the diet, training, and abstaining. In a fight camp I abstain from most things I truly enjoy. It’s particularly difficult leaving home while my children are still in bed and returning home after they have already gone back to bed. That’s why I typically don’t do the after party thing after my fights… I’m just eager to get home and stare at my children.
Speaking of which, tell us a little bit about your life outside of the sport. What’s it like?
I don’t know… I suppose I’m something like an enigma. On one hand I’m a total square. I make my living as an interactive web / iPhone and Android applications developer. So yeah, I’m pretty much a nerd. On the other hand I enjoy fighting, riding really fast on my motorcycle, kayaking, and skydiving. Because of those things I’ve also been labeled an adrenaline junky, but mostly I’m a simple family man. I really spend most of my days outside of work and training enjoying quiet evenings at home with my wife and children and going to church. Being a family man is what I enjoy the most. It’s a blessing being a husband and father to those wonderful people.
Let’s talk about your upcoming fight. How do you feel about your fight versus Tristan Grimsley at XKO 16?
He’s a tough guy. I’ve seen him around the local circuit. He has a solid ground game. I think it’s a good matchup and I’ve prepared for a tough fight.
What’s it been like getting ready for this one?
I’m nearing the end of another tough camp. I’ve been working my ground game with Aloisio Silva Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Soto & Eric Flores and my standup with a phenomenal striking coach in Calvin Pitts. We’ve got something new brewing at THE GYM with the addition of Donnie Bell and a handful of other talented guys, so training has been something else. Being that I’m less than two weeks from a fight, I’m very focused on the task at hand. I’m not looking past my opponent, and I’m not looking back. October 20th is all I’m thinking about.
So what’s your mindset like now that it’s fight week?
I’m usually kind of angry at this point. I’m always fed up with the weight cut and missing my family. Outside of that I’ve accepted that this fight will happen, and embraced the inevitability of it. As I see it, in a sanctioned fight the first punch has been thrown upon signing the contract. What’s there to think about when someone has every intent in attacking you? There is nothing to think about. You just get yours by fighting back, and fighting harder.
Any predictions for the fight?
Other than the expectations of an exciting matchup, I don’t really ponder on such things. I’m just eager to get in that cage and do what I’ve been trained to do.
What’s next for you after this fight? Any plans?
Though I’m currently not giving much thought to anything other than XKO 16 on October 20th I’ll be fighting for Legacy in December. With that being said, the Legacy card won’t get another thought from me until October 21st.
Any last words?
I’d first like to thank my wonderful wife, teammates and training partners. All of you guys. All of you guys who came out, pushed, and helped me get ready for this fight. I’d also like to thank my sponsors: PartyTapper (now in Apple’s app store), Dom Fight Gear, and CashRides.com. As always… All glory and honor to God.
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