Q&A: UFC middleweight Alex Nicholson

Fighters Only’s Tony Reid catches up with UFC middleweight Alex Nicholson, 7-3, on the eve of his fight against Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night 109.

 

Tony Reid: We are talking just ahead of UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm, Sweden. You are taking on Jack Hermansson. How do you envision the fight playing out?

 

Alex Nicholson: I see myself being patient and when the opportunity presents itself I will take advantage of it. I am a student of the game. A lot of people just think I am a big flashy striker that tries to throw crazy things and knock somebody out. I do have that but I have a lot of technique. I have years of training behind me. I am not afraid to take him down and submit him either. I don’t think he is a better grappler than me. That has been funny, everybody is telling me not to go for the takedown. I am not worried about the takedown. I believe I can submit him. Obviously I can knock him out if I land. I know he is going to run. If he gets crazy and tries to go he will pay the price big time.

 

I learned against Sam Alvey that you have to be a mixed martial artist. You might have to get a takedown or two to keep them guessing. I won’t be afraid to use my compete arsenal.

 

TR: I’m sure you don’t have a problem heading overseas to take a guy out in his home country.

 

AN: Not at all. I love that. As an amateur I fought a lot of guys in Daytona Beach from Orlando. I was always traveling fighting guys in Daytona. When I went pro I went to Pensacola and fought a few of their hometown boys who trained with Roy Jones. I am used to being the guy that is supposed to lose. I am used to being the underdog. I see they have us dead even in this one. It’s funny, for once I am getting some respect in the betting odds.

 

TR: As far as Sweden is concerned, I see you aren’t overly excited about the drinks and clothing saying it’s just beer and ugly outfits. So how is Sweden treating you so far?

 

AN: It’s hard to find a place to eat here. It’s a good place to cut weight. It’s a very beautiful country. Everyone has been very nice. That was just me being funny and being an asshole during my weigh cut. It’s beautiful here but it’s definitely a bit of a culture shock any time you go somewhere new. They have terrible waiting service, so if you come here don’t expect much as far as service at a diner. If you ever come here be ready to drink and maybe wear some ugly shit.

 

TR: The old saying used to be ‘keep my name out of your mouth’ now it might have changed to ‘keep my name out of your tags’ because your opponent Hermansson was tagging you in videos on social media leading up to the fight.

 

AN: He was tagging me in his workout videos. I don’t give a fuck, dude. I don’t tag him in my workout videos. I just didn’t get it. Maybe that was his way of trash talking but I just told him I would break his fucking skull when he started tagging me in the videos. I don’t want to sound like Conor but it looked like some touch butt in the park. He was in some park hitting mitts. Some people look great hitting mitts. You could be the best mitt hitter in the world and look amazing but that doesn’t mean you are going to kick my ass. I know dudes who look like savage animals on the mitts then I see a fight in the club and they are running before the first punch is thrown.

 

I don’t want people to think I am being cocky going into this fight. It might seem like that. I am just really, really confident in my abilities. I have fought bigger, stronger technical strikers. I have submitted better grapplers. I have knocked out heavyweights that are in the UFC right now. I don’t see what his game plan could be going into this fight. If I watch tape on him I’m like ‘Yeah, he’s good.’ But if he watches tape of me he has to be shitting in his shoes. I am going to go out there and devastate that man. You have to kill me, bro. I don’t think he is capable.