Alex Nicholson is feeling comfortable and confident heading into his bout at PFL 3 2019 against Francimar Barroso.
Uniondale, NY – One of the fighters receiving promotional focus ahead of PFL 3 2019 is Alex Nicholson. The former UFC middleweight has found a comfortable home at heavyweight in PFL, owning two of the more exciting knockouts from last season.
He starts a new campaign in 2019, and it starts with a matchup against fellow former UFC competitor, and last year’s top-seeded heavyweight Francimar Barroso.
“I’m not worried about what he’s going to do. I’m more worried about implementing my gameplan, focusing on what I have to do. I know he’s a ‘world-class grappler’ but, not to take anything away from his experience or his skill-set, I just think if he ends up getting me down there to expose my grappling, he’s going to find out he’s in trouble. I’m well-rounded. I’ve been working with Jacare Souza, he’s like the Michael Jordan of jiu-jitsu. I think if he can find that part of me, he’s going to learn that I’m good at everything I do.”
Nicholson has been slowly but surely bulking himself up from the middleweight we saw in his UFC days, to the current heavyweight knockout artist in PFL. His secret?
“I’ve been force-feeding myself, drinking a ton of water, doing all I can just to explode a little bit. I got up to 245, almost 250. I was going into sparring thinking, ‘Maybe I can’t hold all of this, man.’ I have to say, one shot, it might not kill somebody at that weight. I was feeling a little full. I got my sprints on, I got back to destroying the pads and working on sparring, and I just capped out at around 235, 240. We showed up after traveling, I was 240 and I think I was just moving around too much, getting excited and I shed a couple of pounds. No matter what I weigh tomorrow, I’m going to have enough weight to get the job done.”
“The Spartan” touched on the middleweight experience and what motivated him to move up in weight.
“The thing about that, I was an amateur fighter. Me and my brother Mike Perry, traveling around the country with my father. I remember one time I weighed in at 185, then I gained the weight and the next day I weighed in for a 205. So I weighed in Thursday, fought Friday at 85. Weighed in Friday, fought Saturday at 205. Mike did the same thing at 55 and 70. We were staying real busy, just fight after fight after fight. But I got a little older, and cutting from 220 pounds to 185, like I did in my pro debut, I remember I walked in at 220 pounds the night of the fight. Even the doctors were like, ‘Is this possible? Were you floating last night?’ It just became too much. My last UFC fight against Jack Hermansson, I remember waking up that day thinking, ‘Man, I have to fight tonight? I don’t feel right.’ I only gained like five more pounds. At 192, my body just wasn’t doing it, wasn’t rehydrating. It cost me, it just wasn’t me. So at heavyweight, I’m almost 30-years-old, I’m a grown man, I’ve got grown man strength, ready to do grown man things. Move this weight around, excite the world.”
During the regular season, especially the first fights for a division, PFL handpicks the matchups they want to see. With that being said, it’s odd seeing last year’s number-one seed, Francimar Barroso, and Alex Nicholson fighting right away. Nicholson has his theories though.
“I think that they know it’s going to be an exciting fight. But I think they also know that I’m going to knock him the f**k out. And I think that’s why they threw him in there because he’s going to dive for my ankles once I start putting the heat on him. He’s older, he’s almost 40 now, he’s not learning new tricks. I am. Not to talk bad about the guy, he hasn’t said one bad thing about me, but that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to find a way like he’s hiding from me. I’m going to take his ass out.”
See if Alex Nicholson does just that tonight at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2 during PFL 3 2019, and check out the rest of the scrum above.