By: Nick Portella @NickPortellaMMA
What’s good fight fans? Today we will sit down with a rising mma star in Alexander Olave. Alexander will be making his second professional appearance April 8, 2017 in Manassas, VA at Strike Off 9. Let’s have a seat and talk with Alexander before his road to a title begins.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Alexander: I think everyone has their own opinion on what it means to be a fighter. For some it’s the ego, for others self expression driving them to do this. I fell in love with this lifestyle. I am a Mixed Martial Artist first and fighter second. This is my life, the study of combat ,the study of the mind, body, spirit, nutrition, feeding your body the right fuels. Being a fighter means being disciplined when you don’t want to. Battling your biggest opponent 24/7 which is yourself. This sport saved my life. I was obese @ 250 pounds and fighting was just the doorway into something much more beautiful. At the end of the day fighting is just a platform I can test my tools, entertain my fans, and earn a living doing what I love. One day my body will no longer be able to sustain the damage and when that day comes it’s not the end of training. It is just the beginning of another journey passing the experiences I’ve learned to my students as a martial artist.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Nick: What belts do you have and in what disciplines?
Alexander: I am a 4 Stripe RCJ Machado Blue Belt having done Jiu Jitsu the last 6 years.
Nick: You have an amateur MMA record of 5-1 and a Muay Thai record of 4-2. You also have had one professional fight which you lost via decision. What does this next fight mean to you and your career?
Alexander: This next fight is huge for me. Never in my career have I been here. Coming off of 2 back to back losses. The fact that they were decisions still haunt me knowing I fought my ass off and just couldn’t pull the trigger. You’ve heard it 1000 times and i’ll say it again your losses make you stronger! I’ve evaluated the mistakes and I am treating this camp more serious than any other in my fight career. I’ve never taken an easy fight if you look at my fight resume. I have fought world class kickboxers in multiple weight classes. For me it’s all about the comeback. I know I am destined for greatness it’s just a matter of laying the foundation. Less talk and more performing. I already know what I can do I just can’t wait to show the world.
Nick: How long have you been with Luttrell Yee MMA? Lockdown MMA?
Alexander: Relocating in Spring 2016 to New Mexico I knew I had to take advantage of the resources out here. Albuquerque is one of the largest hubs for fighters. In January of this year I reached out to Luttrell Yee MMA. I split my fight camp up between my school Lockdown MMA in Carlsbad, NM and Luttrell Yee in Albuquerque, NM. The coaches have really complimented my game really putting me out of my comfort zone and showing me where exactly those areas of improvement are needed.
Nick: With your fighting style do do you prefer to keep the fight on your feet or take it to the ground?
Alexander: At this point in my career i’ve solidified my self as a standup fighter. I always love a good standup war. People sleep on my Jiu Jitsu. If you’re not careful you just might get caught.
Nick: What was it like training and fighting in Thailand?
Alexander: It was absolutely incredible. I lived there for a year on the Island of Koh Samui at Samui Fight Camp. The gym was right in the middle of the rain forest located right next to the famous Wat Khunaram. At the temple still sits a mummified monk still in meditation. It was the most incredible training environment you could ask for. Running in the mountains, swimming in the ocean, sparring in the jungle, all while your down time is spent sipping 20 baht coconuts on the beach. I learned so much about the Buddhist and Thai Culture. For me they say home is where the heart is. Thailand is home when it’s all said and done. When the fight career is over my retirement takes place there. I made my professional Muay Thai debut in Spring of 2015. Over the course of that year I took 6 fights going 4-2 with the four wins coming via knockout.
Nick: What would you say your biggest strengths are, and what’s the thing you need to work on the most?
Alexander: I’m constantly working everyday to improve. I have spent a lot of time on my Judo, Wrestling, and Jiu Jitsu. I am a completely different fighter from a year ago. I am not sure people are going to know what to expect next time I fight. I feel I can end the fight on the feet or on the ground confidently. When you get to this level of the sport you should already have identified what kind of fighter you want to be. Nevertheless it’s always evolving. I think my biggest mistake in the past was how one dimensional i’ve made my fights. I can’t wait to go out there with some nasty new tools that no one will see coming.
Nick: What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
Alexander: I’m a huge fan of uppercuts. There is just something about a technically sound uppercut that for me is a thing of beauty. I am also obsessed with armlocks. Ronda Rousey shocked the world when she came out slinging arm bars. Despite what people think about her to me she will be the all time greatest when it comes to the transitions from the clinch to submission.
Nick: People talk about the next generation of fighters all the time. Do you feel that you represent the next generation of fighter in some ways? Do you feel any pressure to represent that next generation?
Alexander: Absolutely, you’re seeing all these guys and girls on their way out who you idolized and all these young guys coming up killing it on these major promotions. You train with both. It just solidifies your next in line. When you surround yourself with world class talent you have no choice to be better. This fight camp i’ve gotten my ass kicked by Diego Brando, Andres Quintina, Jordan Espinosa, Jon Dodson, Ray Borg, Holly Holm, Diego Sanchez as I split my sparring up in ABQ and frequent Jackson Winks to get some rounds. I feel that If I can surround myself with these animals I will be at the top of my game.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Alexander: This time i’ve done everything the right way instead of waiting for the last minute as I usually have done in prior camps. Diet of course is the number one priority and while I’ve had a few cheats here and there my nutrition has been on point. There has been no time to mess around when this is your dream and the difference between you being a champion or just the next average fighter is how disciplined you can treat you career. I’m a vegetarian. I try to rely on a mostly plant based diet to keep me lean and energized. What are you putting into your body? Remember food is how our cells produce energy and if you’re constantly putting in shitty fuel into your body what kind of cellular regeneration is going to occur? Right now i’m walking at 20lbs out 5 weeks from the fight feeling strong. I have amazing conditioning coaches at Core City Crossfit in Carlsbad, NM who have been kicking my ass in the gym. Every workout is a struggle. The other day was 24 minutes of nonstop work. I felt like a machine for that 24 minutes. If I can grind at that pace what is three 5 minute rounds. I’m ready.
Nick: Since this is your second professional fight do you have a career goal to land a contract at UFC or Bellator? If not why? If so which one and why?
Alexander: I’d love to fight for whoever, but to be honest I’d love my shot at Lion Fights. I’m 4-3 as a pro Muay Thai kickboxer who has never been finished. Ultimately I just want to be signed to a promotion who allows me to comfortably make a living doing this. Not impossible or far fetched at all. I’m hungry, training, and waiting for an opportunity. The opportunity will come if you manifest it. 2017 is my year. I’m speaking it into existence.
Nick: Most fighters at some point are branded with a nickname. Do you have one currently? If so what is it? Who gave it to you?
Alexander: No I don’t have one, but a few friends joke with me. Cookie Monster has come up, Alexander the Great, but I just enjoy going by Alexander Olave. I want to bring that honor to my last name. I have a little brother who also is an MMA fighter as well. Olave MMA will be the next big name in combat sports. See it, believe it, and achieve it.
Nick: With the USADA tightening up on fighters with pre fight testing and several suspension being handed out, how do you feel about fighters getting banned for non controlled substances?
Alexander: It’s about damn time. I’m tired of all these cheaters. All these dudes we watched growing up shredded. It’s about time it’s a level playing field. I however do not see anything wrong with THC or CDB for medicating after training sessions, before a run, because these are not preform enhancing drugs. These are plants with medicinal properties that have multiple cures for things such as anxiety, soreness, and cancer.
Nick: You understand that marketing is important in this sport. Do you plan on one day having your own brand?
Alexander: Absolutely the Olave MMA Brand is in a constant state of growing. To all my fans, supporters, and haters thank you for helping me represent .
Nick: Since you have made this journey what advice can you give to new fighters wanting to make this a career?
Alexander: Tunnel vision, you can be a world champion if you put in the time and have an insane amount of work ethic. I’m watching it happen with talent right before my eyes. Anyone can do this. You don’t have to be super gifted. Just have heart and a desire to overcome adversity. Respect for one another and for the sport. This isn’t a look at me I do this to look cool kind of sport. If you really want to do this you really have to want it.
Nick: You will be facing Shawn Joffee at Strike Off 9. Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Alexander: I sure do. I will win via knockout in the second round.
Nick: Do you have any plans for after your fight on April 8?
Alexander: My manager Tammy Stone at TAC Sports Management is great. We are working on a few things and hopefully all goes as planned and I have some really exciting news for you soon.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter past or present?
Alexander: My favorite MMA fighter is Nick Diaz. My favorite fighter is Lomachenko. His movement is absolutely incredible and something to be studied to carry over into MMA.
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be? Why?
Alexander: Lomachenko for sure. That fight would be more about footwork than anything. We would engage in our patterns of rhythm and patterns of movement. A dance of fitness to work the sweet science.
Nick: Alexander have you submitted to the takeover?
Alexander: This is Alexander Olave and I have submitted to the takeover.
Check out Alexander’s 2016 highlight video here.
I have to say that Alexander is one to watch for. I know great things will come his way because he will not allow anything less. I wish him all the best of luck at Strike Off as I know he will be there to handle business. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA