[Photo Credit to Michael Gray]
April 5, 2011 – A mild-mannered web developer by day, Fort Worth native Alex Russ will attempt to turn into superman for the third straight time in his professional fight career this Saturday night.
Already credited with two TKO wins as a pro, Russ (also known as “Warpath”) turned to fighting after time spent as a wrestler on the high school level at Trimble Tech High. Now training at ‘The Gym’ in Arlington, Russ has adopted that mat skill set, along with other tools honed by head trainer Brandon Crick, to become one of the most highly-regard young prospects from the DFW area.
Set to fight this Saturday night at XKO 10, Russ will be facing the biggest test in his professional career as he takes on eight-fight veteran Frank Ortega.
Read on and see what’s on the mind of Alex Russ as he prepares for his latest showdown this Saturday.
Thanks for taking the time to interview with us during fight week, Alex. How’s training been heading up to XKO 10?
Training’s been great. We’ve added some new things to this fight camp along with reestablishing some of the things that have produced good results.
You train at ‘The Gym’ right? What’s the training atmosphere like over there? Describe it for us.
Yes I train out of The Gym. The Gym is an amazing place, with a great culture of its own and an amazing pool of talent to learn from and train with. We’ve got a house full of humble characters who are talented and make themselves available to us and really rally behind us when we’re preparing for a fight. I always tell people that if you meet an “ego” in The Gym it’s probably because he’s new. He either hasn’t yet been humbled or won’t survive the culture of the place.
Who do you work with specifically the most?
The majority of my camp is with my head trainer of about 4 or 5 years Brandon Crick. He’s the guy who’s mostly responsible for poking the caged bear with a stick, so to speak. He is always looking to help me improve my game by tying in the things that I’ve learned from my other trainers with my current talents without trying to change me as a fighter. I find that to be rare. I also do a lot of training under Casey Erwin who has also greatly helped me improve my game over the years.
How would you describe yourself as a fighter? What’s your style like?
I would describe myself as a fighter just as I would describe myself as an individual I suppose, a hard working man of faith. I try and always enter situations knowing I’ve done what was needed in order to deserve victory. That lends itself to the description of my style, relentless, and uninhibited. Knowing how hard I’ve worked in the fight camp I transfer the pressure and hard work I’ve compiled from the camp to my opponent. As I said before my head trainer treats my camps like poking a caged bear with a stick with the intent of locking someone in a cage with me. With a combination of hard work and faith I have no intent of wavering from my goals of victory.
Both your pro wins so far have ended with a TKO. What you prefer next, the sub or the knockout?
I’ll accept a win by any honorable way it comes, but I’d definitely have to say I’d prefer the Knockout! My wife learned the difference between a TKO and KO at the last XKO event (XKO 9) during the JJ Holmes fight, and has since put in a request. I’d like to honor that request.
This Saturday, you’ll be fighting Frank Ortega, who at 4-4 definitely has the edge in experience over you. How are you approaching this fight?
From day one of training for my first MMA fight my head trainer Brandon Crick said I should train as if I’m set to fight George Saint Pierre and that is what I’ve always done.
What do you think of Ortega as an opponent?
I’ve got a lot of respect for Frank Ortega, and he appears to be a well rounded guy. As I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I’m gearing for a war right now I won’t say much more about him. I look forward to the moment when we can shake hands and say good fight.
Any predictions on how the fight will go?
I’m preparing for a war but fighting for a first round finish. One thing I can say for sure is that it will be an exciting fight, and he and the crowd will feel my passion for the sport.
Any last words for your opponent? For the fans?
I would like to thank my opponent, Frank Ortega, for honoring me and the sport by taking this match up. I’d like to thank all of my fans and the XKO fans for the support. For all you fans out there that are coming to the fight, LET ME HEAR YA! I’d also like to thank my sponsors Dom Fight Gear and Execution Fight Gear, and I’d like to thank you, Mike Calimbas, for the interview.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Glory to God.
TXMMA’s In-Depth Coverage of April 9th’s XKO 10 Event!
- Our Conversation with Promoter Thomas Bussey – here
- Going for Broke with Roy Spoon, Ready for War against Brandon Smith – here
- Chris Pecero – Ready for his title shot at XKO 10! – here
- XKO Lightweight Champion Chris Jones Ready to Defend Against Chris Pecero on April 9th! – here
- Not Your Average 20 Year Old – Steven “Ocho” Peterson Set to Take On Doug Frey for XKO Bantamweight Title! – here
- Introducing Hayward “The Hybrid” Charles; Set to Make XKO/MMA Debut Against J.J. Holmes on April 9th! – here
- Brandon “The Wolf” Smith Looking to Stay on Top at 170lbs – here
- One-on-One with JJ Holmes; Set for XKO Return April 9th Against Hayward Charles! – here
- An In-Depth Look with Douglas Frey; Preparing for a Bantamweight Showdown with Steven Peterson at XKO 10! – here