Houston Alexander and Sokoudjou both came in to their bout tonight at Shark Fights 13 in need of a victory. With both fighters struggling as of late, a win would put either fighter back in a position to be relevant in the Light Heavyweight division.
In recent conversations with Sprawl N Brawl MMA, Sokoujou stated he needed to get back to the basics by utilizing his judo more than he has in his recent fights. He also went on to say that he has trusted his hands more than he should since his back-to-back knockouts of Nogueria and Arona.
Alexander said that he had been working hard on his cardio and that we would be seeing the fighter that blitzed Keith Jardine when he exploded on the MMA scene in 2007.
At Shark Fights 13, all the effort Alexander put in to improving his cardio more than likely saved him from being knocked out.
In the first round, Sokoudjou landed a looping right hand that put Alexander on queer street. He went on to follow up with hammer fist as Alexander grabbed on to "The African Assassin's" leg for dear life. Alexander was somehow able to weather the storm, get a takedown late in the round, and end the round on a high note by landing some ground and pound from Sokoudjou's guard.
After the horn sounded to end the round, it was clear that Alexander was still out of it as he walked to the wrong corner. However, Houston was able to get his head cleared in between rounds. Sokoudjou appeared as he might have punched himself out as he breathed deeply in his corner.
In the second round, it was clear that Alexander—despite being nearly knocked out—was the fresher of the two. He came out, landed a right hand that dropped his gassed opponent and followed up with punches in bunches to his defenseless opponent.
After landing around 30 unanswered blows, the referee finally stepped in to stop the fight which could have easily been stopped 20 punches earlier.
Houston Alexander showed a ton of heart and proved that all the hard work he put in for this fight paid off by scoring a second round TKO victory. Going 3-2 in his last five fights, Alexander is a couple of quality wins away from once again being a force at 205.
Going 2-3 in his last five, with all three losses coming via stoppage, one has to wonder where his spot in in the mix of the MMA world now.
With Trevor Prangley scoring a split decision victory over Keith Jardine on the same card, could we see Prangley vs Alexander and Sokoudjou vs Jardine? Only time will tell, but both these fights would be very entertaining and further tell where these fighters stand at their respective points of their careers.
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*Article originally featured on SprawlNBrawlMMA.com