Many Cagewriter readers were touched to read about Alex White's inspiring path to the UFC late last week. The fighter overcame nearly dying as a child and homelessness as an adult and ended up fighting his way into the best MMA promotion in the world.
After White's incredible success in his UFC debut on Saturday, where he earned a first-round KO and a $50,000 Performance of the Night honors bonus check, we got even more requests to check back in with the hard-hitting featherweight.
Like most fighters starting out in the UFC, Alex works hard at a day job. This morning, less than 48 hours removed from winning in the Octagon, Alex was back at work in Missouri.
"There's no rest for the wicked," he jokes.
Alex won't call them "UFC jitters" but he admits that it took him a few moments to collect himself once his first UFC bout had begun. "Yeah, I went in there and it took me a little bit to get warmed up," he says.
"After a little bit, I was able to think to myself, 'This is what you've been training to do. Do this, and this and this.'
It only took White a few punches to knock opponent Estevan Payan out cold. White was and is the undefeated prospect but Payan had far more big-stage experience than White.
"Yeah, it felt good," White said of the step up in competition.
"It was my first UFC fight and it was a different level of fighting. I was pretty pumped and I'm pretty happy now."
White had to wait a little bit longer than expected to begin celebrating once the ref had called a halt to the action, however, because once Payan regained consciousness, he angrily began to protest the stoppage.
For his part, White never let his guard down, and stayed close to Payan, seemingly ready for the fight to continue. "Yeah, I wasn't for sure what was going on," White says of those tense moments immediately following the fight's end.
"I was totally unloading on him and he didn't get up til the ref pushed me off. I wasn't for sure what was going on - if the ref had stopped it or was going to continue it so I tried to stay in the mode."
Once White's victory did settle in, the blue-collar fighter didn't hit the Florida clubs or beach for a wild party. At six feet tall, it must be a task for White to make the 145-pound featherweight limit and after cutting weight on short notice for his UFC debut, Alex and his team had a practical celebration.
"We went to IHOP," White says.
"I had one of those bacon omelets and pancakes."
Now back to work at his day job, White plans to take a week off from training and plan a party for his supporters in town.
"I want to spend time with family and I'll probably throw a bar-b-que for my supporters in the park," he says.
"I'd like to have a bunch of food for everyone so people can relax, have a good time and so that I can let them know how much I appreciate all their support and help."
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