It's been a rough go in recent years for Nebraska. Much of the state's identity revolves around success of the Husker football program and long gone are the days of Tom Osborne and national dominance. Nebraska has struggled (27-22 since 2003) adjusting to an era where a run heavy offense and lumbering defense can't get it done anymore. College football has evolved and there is simply too much depth. The 9,103 rabid Husker-staters at the Omaha Civic Auditorium found out that the world of mixed martial arts isn't much different. What won you championships 12 years ago doesn't cut it now.
Omaha-resident Houston Alexander may have been an MMA superstar in the old days of UFC but his game is just simplistic to cut it in 2008. The stand-up specialist got schooled again when a fight went to the ground and lost badly to Eric Schafer.
"I thought I had him stunned," Alexander said of the early shots. "He recovered from his mistake. Mine just came in the final ten seconds, and I couldn't (recover)."
Alexander (pictured crushing some fat guy's hand) was dangerous on the feet and appeared to rock 'Ravishing Red' early on with some big knees. Schafer stayed the course, scored a takedown with 2:40 left in the first and had Alexander mounted 45 seconds later. From there, Schafer unleashed 55 unanswered elbows and punches. He eventually secured an arm-triangle choke for the finish.
Two other Nebraskans on the card, Ryan Jensen and Jason Brillz, had mixed result. Jensen lost via armbar to Wilson Gouveia in the second round, and former Nebraska-Omaha wrestler Brillz won his UFC debut against Brad Morris via, as heh.
We won't see Jensen again in UFC. He's now 0-3 with the promotion. Brillz will definitely get more fights. As for former 'phenom' Alexander, it's hard to say. He's now lost three straight fights. He's horrific on the ground and when the UFC tried to match him against another stand-up fighter, James Irvin, he was KOd in eight seconds. He has four fights left on his deal but UFC may say bye-bye.