UFC 78: Validation Preview - Houston Alexander versus Thiago Silva
Houston Alexander versus Thiago Silva:
Houston Alexander (8-1), or Houston "Fucking" Alexander, as I like to call him, arrived in the UFC with the subtlety of a pipe bomb inside a wedding cake. The 35-year old East St. Louis native was the only man to step up when Keith Jardine needed an opponent at UFC 71. Jardine had just reduced Forrest Griffin, a grown-ass man, to tears. Just about everyone, particularly Jardine, scoffed, bestowing Alexander with the prestigious label of "stepping-stone".
Fast-forward to Alexander hitting Jardine with a Popeye uppercut that almost lifts Jardine off the ground. About twenty power-shots later, Jardine is out cold. When asked to take us through the Mickey's replay, Alexander remarks, "That's punching power right there, baby...That's real punching power right there."
Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara, a pro-boxer and MMA champion in Italy, had just banged out an impressive victory against Victor Valimaki and was asked to fight Alexander at UFC 75.
Fast-forward to Alexander impersonating Popeye if he trained knees from the clinch. Like a lion, Alexander tears his victim apart.
If you were to try and create the most badass possible fighter in an MMA video game, your character might be a jiujitsu black belt who trains with Chute Boxe. Take that guy on an eleven-fight winning streak, with nine knockout wins and seven of them ending in the first round, and you've got Thiago Silva (11-0).
Silva most recently scored a TKO over Pawel Nastula-trained Tomas Drwal at UFC 75. Silva and Drwal engaged in what you might call a "slugfest", but ultimately, Silva's stamina was superior and his Muay Thai combinations proved too much.
Silva also defeated James "Sandman" Irvin by TKO in the first at UFC 71, but the TKO was due to Irvin blowing out his knee.
Houston Alexander is like the moon. No, this is not the beginning of a poem. I'm saying that what we have seen of Houston Alexander is brilliant and incredible, but the side we have not seen lies in darkness. Can "Houston Alexander" and, say, 'jiujitsu" be used in the same sentence? Is that even the issue?
Certainly, if Silva can survive Houston's onslaught, the Brazilian would earn a chance to exercise his purportedly awesome jiujitusu. However, not only are Silva's takedowns mediocre, but if Alexander stuffs the takedown and ends up on top, then, Curitiba, we have a problem.
Silva is not the man to survive this explosion. Houston takes it to the streets and puts one more minute of work before Silva is unconscious.
Continue to Spencer Fisher versus Frank Edgar: