Addition by subtraction can be helpful. So can good, old-fashioned addition by addition.
Cosmo Alexandre has lately conducted plenty of personal arithmetic. The most recent variable in the equation arrived a little more than a week ago, when he got a late call to fight Jo Nattawut on Friday at Lion Fight 17.
“I was on the beach; I was surfing,” the multi-time muay thai world champion and MMA prospect told Bleacher Report. “It was only like 10 days away, but I said, ‘Of course.’”
Like fellow multi-combat-sport standouts Tyrone Spong and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Alexandre likes doing some double dipping, and in his case it's causing a crowded summer. Besides his late addition to Friday's card from Lion Fight, a muay thai promotion, he has a previously announced August 29 MMA tilt under the Legacy FC banner.
The 32-year-old Alexandre is a muay thai Miyagi, with multiple world titles and 19 knockouts on his 42-14 resume. As such, despite his status as a relative specialist, he's considered an intriguing MMA prospect in some corners. He's also 6-1 in pro cage fighting, with his only defeat coming in his first contest. Four of his wins have come by knockout, including three stoppages during a 5-1 run in Bellator, which he left for Legacy in large part because Legacy would allow him to compete again in muay thai.
If he can notch these two wins in one month, it could move his star forward on the fightscape. And a plan especially to try his hand in a larger weight class might have big implications for his fighting future.
There's been some subtraction in the mix recently too. A few weeks back, Alexandre quietly left the Blackzilians, the informal name of the Florida fight camp king-pinned by Rashad Evans and populated by names like Spong, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Johnson, among plenty of others. Alexandre’s departure coincided with those of wrestling coach Kenny Monday and UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem, who both took off in May.
“It was not about the fighters anymore,” Alexandre said of the Blackzilians. “So it didn’t work for me anymore. I don’t want to talk bad about anybody. I learned so much...it was my choice.”
Alexandre’s MMA game, predicated almost entirely on muay thai staples like clinching, knees, kicks and elbows, markedly improved during his time with the Blackzilians. Most notably, he says his wrestling and boxing are on higher levels as a result.
“When I started MMA, I could only do one stance,” he said. “Now I can do the boxing stance. I can change stances and use my hands to score more.”
In the meantime, he’s back in Brazil and pondering his future, where there’s yet another addition in play.
On August 29, Alexandre will fight for the first time at 170 pounds, rather than the lightweight division where he fought his first seven professional contests (he also fought in muay thai competitions at that weight).
Alexandre said he walks around at about 180, so a cut to 170 pounds instead of 155 makes sense, particularly since he has twice missed weight, albeit narrowly (once at Bellator 77, the other at Bellator 58). Though he will relinquish some size, he said he’s doing it for the stabler lifestyle it affords. He’ll make his welterweight debut at Legacy FC 34 in August when he fights a yet-to-be-named opponent.
“I’m thinking about my health, not just being bigger or stronger,” he said. “The cut to 155 was not that bad...but the last couple of days of the cut, I feel really, really bad...Let’s see how I feel. If it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to 155.”
So with the two fights in one month in two sports, the recent camp departure and the weight class change, the guy has a lot on his plate. But there’s always room to discuss that 1,000-pound Octagon in the room. Alexandre sees both sides of that equation.
“Every day someone asks me about UFC. Every day,” Alexandre said. “It’s the biggest show in the world now, but I’m not crazy to go...With muay thai, I go to every country, do different things. With UFC, I can’t fight in any other shows.”
Back in the present, Alexandre is cutting the final pound he needs to be on weight for Friday and looks forward to meeting Nattawut.
“I like to fight technical,” he said. “I fight smart. I’m very traditional. So is he. It should be a very beautiful fight.”
The Beaten Path covers the top prospects in MMA. Scott Harris covers MMA and other topics for Bleacher Report and other places. Follow Scott on Twitter if you feel so inclined. All quotes obtained firsthand.