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April 28, 2011

CES Press Release


‘No more talking!’

Karalexis ready to put up or shut up in long-awaited return to the cage

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 27, 2011) – Alex Karalexis is well aware of what his critics are saying.

He’s past his prime. He can’t stay healthy. He can’t compete at a higher level. He already missed out on his opportunity to make a name for himself in mixed martial arts.

None of it seems to faze the former Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) contender, who will headline Jimmy Burchfield’s “Nowhere To Hide” show onFriday, June 10th, 2011 at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I. Surprisingly, he’s embraced the negativity.

“That’s absolutely what they should be thinking and saying because it’s the truth,” said Karalexis, the Boston native who starred on Season 1 of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and recently signed a promotional agreement with Classic Entertainment & Sports.

“I’ve lost fights and I’ve suffered injuries. I’ve been on the shelf since the whole contract thing [he and the UFC mutually parted ways following the UFC’s merger with the WEC in 2010]. When you’re out of action for 14 months, you’re out of sight, out of mind. You’re only as good as your last fight.

“I’ve hit so many highs and lows in my career. This sport is very fickle. You win, and you’re the best thing ever. After one loss it’s, ‘You suck,’ or, ‘You should retire!’ That’s just how this business goes. When you’re young and you’re not exposed to it, it’s hard to handle, but I’ve been in this game a long time now. I get it. The bottom line is nothing matters other than preparing yourself to go in there and fight to the best of your ability. The rest takes care of itself.”

Older and wiser, Karalexis plans on taking care of business June 10th in his first fight under CES when he faces Tiawan Howard (8-7, 3 KOs) of Cleveland in the main event. While Karalexis hasn’t fought since April of 2010 (a loss to Anthony Pettis), Howard has remained active; after losing to former Bellator challenger Greg Rebello of Providence, R.I., in December, he beatEric Moon in January and fought again April 9th in a loss to Daron Cruickshank – a total of three fights (eight rounds) in five months.

Considering he lasted three rounds against Rebello, who had won 10 consecutive bouts entering that event, despite taking the fight on two weeks notice, Howard is confident he’ll be more competitive against Karalexis with more time to train and prepare.

“I hope I’m the underdog,” Howard said. “I hope he’s looking past me. I hope he takes me lightly. I pray he wants to keep it standing, though I doubt he does.”

On the contrary, Karalexis plans on putting his knockout power on display in his first fight in front of his hometown fans since 2004 (The Avalon in Boston). The key to Karalexis’ comeback is his return to the 170-pound weight class, a major sticking point in his failed contract negotiations with the UFC. Karalexis has always felt more comfortable at welterweight and is aiming to reestablish himself in that weight class under Burchfield’s guidance.

“This is going to be old-school,” Karalexis said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve fought at 100 percent healthy and fit, and when I’m in shape I can beat anyone in the world. I’ve proven it before. I know I can fight with anyone in the world. I can knock anyone out, wrestle with anyone – come June 10th, I’m going to be too much to handle for this guy. When I go into a fight healthy and on weight, I don’t lose.”

Karalexis’ last fight at 170 was more than three years ago in a knockout win over Olaf Alfonso at WEC 25 in Las Vegas. Since then, Karalexis has a 2-3 record fighting at 155 pounds, though he admits training for a welterweight bout is ironically more difficult than preparing for a fight as a lightweight.

“When you’re wearing five layers of plastic trying to cut weight, that’s not really training,” he said. “I got caught in a web where I wasn’t training for fights. I was just cutting weight. Now I’m going to wrestling classes and sparring. The workouts have been fantastic. I feel great. I’m healthy and excited.”

A victory over Howard on June 10th could move Karalexis one step closer toward his ultimate goal of returning to the premiere stage in mixed martial arts.

“I don’t think it’ll take that long because I was already there,” said Karalexis, who fought 10 times on separate UFC and WEC cards before the merger. “The only thing I have to prove to people is that I can stay fit and healthy. Everyone has seen me in the UFC and WEC. They know what I can do.

“There’s no talk of, ‘Can he handle the competition?’ They know I can. I have to stay fit and healthy. That’s it. It’s not like I have to prove myself again. I have a pretty good track record. It’s not like I have to fight the who’s who; I’ve been in there with guys like [‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 1 champion] Diego Sanchez and [No. 7-ranked lightweight] Kenny Florian.”

The adrenaline rush that will come from fighting in front of his hometown fans June 10th could propel Karalexis to his most impressive performance yet, and perhaps give him a chance to silence some of the naysayers who doubt he can make it back to the top.

“The roof will blow off this place when I come out to the cage,” Karalexis said. “I’m more physically and mentally ready for this fight, and I can’t imagine he’ll bring anything to the table I haven’t seen before. In this sport, fighters don’t retire with much. The only thing you can do is leave a legacy. I just want everybody leaving here saying, ‘This guy has some fights left in him,’ because I do. No more talking about it. It’s time to do it.”

Tickets for “Nowhere To Hide” are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $200.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at or, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Nowhere To Hide.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

– CES –


Michael Parente, Classic Entertainment & Sports, (401) 263-4990 or

Sounds like a great show!!!  Who wants to drive CityBoy down to RI???