Virginia Beach, VA — ‘The Alpha Ginger’ Spike Carlyle has arrived in the UFC. Whether or not his entertaining walkouts follow suit remains to be seen.
Carlyle (8-1) has put in time under the LFA and LXF banners of late. But ahead of UFC Norfolk, he got the call so many fighters long for. The call-up to the UFC.
Carlyle enters the promotion as a short-notice replacement against Contender Series alum Aalon Cruz. While his last few fights have come at lightweight, Carlyle is no stranger to 145lbs. And as luck would have it, he was cutting down to the weight class anyway.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press at Thursday’s UFC Norfolk media day, he recalled that “my manager let me know ‘hey, there might be something coming up.’ For some reason, we both felt like it.” Carlyle is a firm believer in God, and feels that he was sent a message after his last fight. “I was preparing for a Muay Thai tournament. He said ‘stay ready.’ So I’ve been actually coming down to this weight class since the end of December. And sure enough, five weeks ago, I was already on point with weight. It all worked out.”
So what should fans know about Carlyle? Well, aside from being ‘The Alpha Ginger’ he explained that “I’ve been a martial artist my whole life. I think I represent all aspects of the fight game. Meaning, I don’t believe I’m just a martial artist or just a fighter or just an athlete. But I’m the complete manifestation of all of them.”
For those that really don’t know Carlyle, he’s been known as an entertainer, one who likes to put some flair in his walkouts. It’s how he gets his personality across. That’s something he’s dealing with ahead of the Norfolk card. “It’s tough. I’m talking with the UFC right now, seeing if we can work something out as far as a little head piece or something like that. But you’ll see me grooving no matter what.”
As to the short-notice nature of the fight and how it changes things, Carlyle explained that “some fighters, they train hard for like an eight-week period then have their fight or whatever. For me it’s a lifestyle. It’s 24/7. I’m pushing myself to the limit almost every day. Obviously I have my days to go hard, days not to, but I live this life. So I stay ready, I am ready, I’m in the best shape ever right now, and I’m ready to put on the best performance ever.”
Watch the full UFC Norfolk media day press scrum with Spike Carlyle above! The event takes place Saturday, February 29 at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.