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Addition by subtraction can be helpful. And there’s always good, old-fashioned addition by addition.
Cosmo Alexandre has conducted plenty of personal arithmetic over the past few weeks. The most recent variable in the equation came a little more than a week ago, when he got a call to step in to face Jo Nattawut on Friday at Lion Fights 17.
“I was on the beach in Brazil, I was surfing,” the multi-time muay thai world champion told Bleacher Report. “It was only like 10 days away, but I said, ‘Of course.’”
Like multi-combat-sports standouts Tyrone Spong and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Alexandre is doing some double dipping these days, and it’s making for a crowded summer. Besides his late addition to the latest card from Lion Fights, a muay thai promotion, he has a previously announced August 29 MMA tilt under the Legacy FC banner.
The 32-year-old Alexandre is a muay thai destroyer, with multiple world titles and dozens of knockouts on his resume. As such, despite his status as a relative specialist, he’s considered an interesting MMA prospect in some corners.
If he can notch these two wins in one month, it could move his star forward on the fights cape—especially given that he plans to try his hand in a new weight class.
There’s been some subtraction in the mix recently, too. A few weeks back, Alexandre quietly left the Blackzilians, the informal name of the Florida fight camp kingpinned by Rashad Evans and populated by names like Spong, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Johnson, among plenty of others. Alexandre’s departure coincided with those of wrestling coach Kenny Monday and UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem, who both left in May.
“It was not about the fighters anymore,” Alexandre said of the Blackzilians. “So it didn’t work for me anymore. I don’t want to talk bad about anybody. I learned so much. It was my choice.”
Alexandre’s game, predicated almost entirely on muay thai staples like clinching, knees, kicks and elbows, markedly improved during his time with the Blackzilians. Most notably, he says his wrestling and boxing are both on higher levels as a result.
“When I started MMA, I could only do one stance,” he said. “Now I can do the boxing stance. I can change stances and use my hands to score more.”
In the meantime, he’s back in Brazil and pondering his future. But there’s yet another addition in play.
On August 29, Alexandre will fight for the first time at 170 pounds, rather than the lightweight division where he fought his first seven professional contests (he also fought in muay thai competitions at that weight).
Alexandre said he walks around at about 180, so a cut to 170 pounds instead of 155 makes sense. Though he will relinquish some size, he said he’s doing it mainly for a more sustainable career. He’ll make his welterweight debut at Legacy FC 34 in August when he fights a yet-to-be-named opponent.
“I’m thinking about my health, not just being bigger or stronger,” he said. “The cut to 155 was not that bad…but the last couple days of the cut, I feel really, really bad. … Let’s see how I feel. If it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to 155.”
The man appears to have a lot on his plate, but there’s always room to discuss that 1,000-pound Octagon in the room. For his part, Alexandre sees both sides of the equation.
“Every day someone asks me about UFC. Every day,” Alexandre said. “It’s the biggest show in the world now, but I’m not crazy to go. … With muay thai, I go to every country, do different things. With UFC, I can’t fight in any other shows.”
Back in the present, Alexandre’s cutting the final pound he needs to be on weight for Friday and looks forward to meeting Nattawut this Friday.
“I like to fight technical,” he said. “I fight smart. I’m very traditional. So is he. It should be a very beautiful fight.”
The Beaten Path covers the top prospects in MMA. Scott Harris covers MMA and other topics for Bleacher Report and other places. Follow Scott on Twitter if you feel so inclined. All quotes obtained firsthand.
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