Houston Alexander was never one to go looking for trouble.
The UFC and Bellator veteran, who now calls BKFC home, has been fighting for most of his adult life. But he learned a very valuable lesson nearly 20 years ago, and that was that street fights are far more dangerous than anything he’ll ever do in a cage or ring.
Alexander headlined Saturday’s BKFC 33 fight against Joey Beltran. He said that his final fight, in 2004,, was the most important outside of his professional career.
“”I was at a bar and there were men who were doing nothing wrong,” Alexander said to MMA Fighting. A friend was throwing a party at the event and I went to support him. But this restaurant had the most delicious burgers. So I’m ordering a burger at this place where my friend just happened to be having an event at; I was good with that.
“When the event started and I was just sitting there waiting for my burger, this guy went up to this girl that we knew and he slapped her. He slapped her because she wouldn’t dance with him.”
Immediately after seeing the victim get attacked, Alexander and his friends intervened.
” We went over and said, “Hey, this is impossible, you have to do it, but you must go.” Alexander recounts. “I was like what? “We said that we didn’t want any problems and you should hit the girl. You’ve got no choice but to leave. I tell him to stop. It was like the Will Smith movie Hancock. It was a Hancock moment. I said, ‘Say f*** you one more time,’ and before the f*** came out of his mouth, I had hit him so hard.
“After that I hit him with a series of knees. This guy was kneed for about two minutes. As we leave the house .”
, his friends try to tear us apart. My friends also want to tear us apart.
As the melee moved out, Alexander was fighting the patron. The situation changed from being a bar fight to a potentially fatal one.
“Here’s the cherry on top — when they were rushing us out the door, somebody handed this guy a gun,” Alexander revealed. “Me not understanding this, this man put the gun up my head and fired .”
Alexander said he should have been dead at that moment.
Thankfully, just before the gun was fired, a bouncer from inside the establishment managed to swipe at the assailant’s arm to dislodge the weapon enough so that it didn’t actually fire at Alexander’s head.
” I didn’t see it,” Alexander stated. “Somebody must have handed it to him. He redirected the gun, and the shot hit me in my leg. I didn’t realize I was shot until I jumped over a counter and ran out the back door. When I ran out the back door, I’m walking and I’m looking and I’m seeing blood go down my jeans. At first, I’m like, ‘Oh man, this guy just messed up my jeans!’
” Next thing you know I’m walking into the lot. [and] There were police officers sitting in that area because this man was still shooting. Because I had kneed him in his head several thousand times [and], he was still firing. The cops pulled down on him like he did something. But the guy was in there shooting.”
According to Alexander, he was treated at a local hospital for the gunshot wound; the bullet went straight through his thigh. The resulting scar serves as a daily reminder to never again put himself into those situations.
“It was my last unannounced, bare-knuckle brawl,” Alexander stated. Alexander said, “I never again got myself into a situation like that.” I went to work the next day. I went to the hospital, the bullet went through my leg, they patched it up, and I went to work the next day.
“I’ve still got the hole in my leg. It was right near my [groin] area. It was my last chance to get into a remote location like that, without being paid .”
Alexander did not seek revenge against the gunman even though he was contacted by police in the aftermath. He was somewhat of a celebrity in Omaha, Neb. and he wonders if the gunman realized who he had shot.
“The detectives showed me his pictures afterward, but I didn’t do anything about it,” Alexander said. He said that he was certain something had happened because of karma. It’s not clear what took place after that.
“All I know is this, I was working radio back then, and I had my own show. For anyone to know that happened, and to hear me on the radio the next day, that had to be crazy for that person to go, ‘I just shot that guy, and he’s on the radio the next day.’ That’s what happened.”
Alexander is a professional fighter who has participated in more 30 fights. Alexander is now on his third bout in the bare-knuckle contest. He avoids confrontations in public.
” The thing is that I have always been aware of where I am and with whom I surround myself, but when I tried to grab a hamburger I didn’t realize it.” Alexander stated. That’s it. It was everything, from me eating a hamburger to it all happening the way that it did. I feel very lucky to be alive today.
“Shout out to my man J.R. for actually saving my life. He is the one I always thank every time I meet him. If it wasn’t for him being in that situation, we wouldn’t be having this interview right now.”