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Dueling opinions on Houston Alexander

From Sam Caplan:

I’m getting a little tired of all the accusations that Houston Alexander hasn’t been training on the ground. How do any of us know for sure what Alexander has or hasn’t been doing? Just because someone doesn’t show fluent ground fighting skills in a full-on fight doesn’t necessarily mean it’s from a lack of effort. At the risk of sounding like a snob, I think more people need to go to their local MMA gym and take advantage of a free trial and take a few jiu-jitsu classes.

From Michael Rome:

Houston Alexander is going to be cut for sure after this performance.   He looks to have learned nothing on the ground since his loss to Thiago Silva, and was frankly an embarrassment in the first fight. His refusal to go to good camps that offered him a spot was a huge mistake. The guys training him are clearly clueless, and sabotaged his career.

Personally, here’s my thought: the UFC simply isn’t the place for anyone with a gargantuan hole in their game. We talked about this on the radio show: neither Schafer nor Alexander really belong in the UFC. When people describe your ground game or striking abilities as ‘borderline pathetic’, that should seal the deal. This isn’t 1994 any more – that shit simply doesn’t fly.

As for Houston training hard at his ground game or not, who gives a shit? You don’t get gold stars in the UFC for working hard in the gym, because everyone in the sport does. When Cheick Kongo got reamed for his floppy fish ground style, he went to Big Bear and schooled himself. Now you’ll never see him get lay’n’prayed again. He’s not exactly a Gracie on the ground (or does that expression no longer work very well?), but he identified a weakness and worked almost exclusively to minimize it.

On the other side of the coin, Houston Alexander got mounted again like it wasn’t no big thang. THEN he never even came close to escaping that mount. THEN he got taken out by a slow arm triangle that anyone with a month’s worth of jiu jitsu experience could have seen coming a mile away. This wasn’t some advanced hardcore shit fueled by Eddie Bravo seminars and helped along with the support of Jesus, God, and guardian angels. This was some BJJ 101 stuff.

So rather than suggest that us keyboard warriors spend some time at a decent BJJ school, how about suggesting Houston does the same? Because whatever he’s doing right now certainly isn’t helping.