Powerlifting sensation and KO artist Alex Simon will make his AFC debut on April 7 when he takes on fellow knockout specialist Lio Ilalio. Never before have we seen such hype surrounding a promotional debut but when one brings forth the power and devastating finishing capability that Alex does, the hype is well and truly warranted.
Alex’s journey to the AFC has been filled with huge success and the odd challenge; all of which has made Alex the exceptional athlete he is today:
“I started strength training after I suffered an injury playing rugby, my physio at the time told me the best way to heal your injury is to strengthen all the surrounding muscles to support it better so that’s exactly what I did. I started training under Sebastian Oreb (the best strength coach in the world) and over the course of the next 2 and a half years I gained the strength and the skill to compete against the worlds best lifters. When I competed at the biggest powerlifting event in the world (big dogs 2) I came equal 3rd in the world and secured the all time Australian record total of 1077.5kgs. My best numbers ever are a 435kg squat, 260kg bench press and a 400kg deadlift”
Those are some pretty scary numbers as it applies to Alex’s personal best lifts, however one must ponder how all the strength will transition into the sport of mixed martial arts. But alas, Alex doesn’t only have power he also has an ever-broadening mixed martial arts pedigree, which has resulted in some super short amateur contests and highlight reel KO’s:
“My background in MMA is a little bit of boxing training as a teenager just socially with friends; when I was 21 I wanted to pursue my training a bit more to get fitter for rugby so I started training at a gym owned by Tama Te Huna, me and Tama instantly clicked as friends and he saw potential in me so I asked him to be my trainer full time. Over the last 3 years I have had 1 fight a year just to break up my powerlifting routine and all my fights have ended in under 30 seconds of the first round by KO. My preferred style is to use my strength and power to overwhelm my opponent”
Alex’s AFC debut will double as his professional mixed martial arts debut, and all of this occurring on Australia’s #1 fight promotion could be a little daunting. Alex however isn’t intimidated by the platform to which he’ll compete, and is instead just soaking it all up as he prepares to enter the cage for the first time:
“It feels awesome to be making my professional debut on the AFC, I am very lucky to have been given this opportunity to compete on the biggest stage in Australia and I am very excited to get in the AFC cage”
The man looking to ruin Alex’s AFC debut will be fellow AFC debutant Lio Ilalio. Lio too has been amassing a reputation as a genuine knock out machine and coming off a highlight reel head kick KO he is full of confidence and ready to brawl. Alex is definitely cognisant of the dangers he’s opponent possesses but this is not front of mind and instead he’s focussing on what he needs to do to ensure his debut fight is a memorable one:
“I know he is a tall young kid with good kicks, I am expecting him to try and make a name for himself from taking me out. I think he will be disappointed at the end of the fight”
As he continues to broaden his MMA game and ‘sharpen his martial arts tools’ Alex works across a number of training facilitates soaking up all of the knowledge his coaches and training partners bestow upon him. Alex’s resume as it pertains to coaches and training partners is as impressive as his powerlifting records:
“I am training at a few different gyms for this fight; my trainers are Tama Te Huna and Stevie Ashby who are Jamie Te Huna’s coaches as well as Tai Tuivasa’s coaches. My main training partner is Kickboxer Joubert Esber.
So the wait is almost over; on April 7 AFC fans will witness the promotional debut of a man who will more than likely become one of the most recognised Heavyweights on the planet in a very short time. The old cliché of ‘don’t blink’ is often over used, however given Alex’s amateur record and the monumental power he possesses, all those watching are advised to not blink! On that note, Alex’s final words before it all goes down on April 7…
“My message to the fans for AFC 22 is I have never had a boring fight and I will make sure my fight is very exciting”
Get your tickets now: https://afcmma.sproutix.com.au
Article by Josh Warner AFC