Pasar al contenido principal
Alex Morono punches Tim Means in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Spectrum Center on May 13, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

Alex Morono Is Embracing The Chaos Ahead

'The Great White' Is Looking Forward To 'Experience Life In The Most Extreme Manner' As He Aims To Bounce Back At The UFC APEX.

Alex Morono may be a seasoned veteran of the Octagon, but he’s still learning every day as he continues on his martial arts journey, inside and outside the cage.

Longtime UFC fans who are familiar with Morono’s work will know that he’s a fighter who always pushes the pace and brings the action from bell to bell. But in his last appearance, he deviated from that plan, and it cost him.

Order The Epic UFC 300 Event

Matched with Joaquin Buckley, Morono adopted a more circumspect approach that resulted in him going the distance in a losing effort, as “New Mansa” took the unanimous decision on the scorecards.

Chatting in Las Vegas ahead of his upcoming bout with Court McGee at UFC Vegas 90, Morono said he’s taken the positives from a disappointing result.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

"In hindsight, after seeing Buckley fight and win (against Vicente Luque) last weekend, it made me able to accept that fight and outcome a little bit better,” he explained.

“He looked super sharp. And I had done some mindset adjustments prior to that fight. I tried to be a little more calculated and more calm, and it turns out I do this for the chaos, for the emotion, the adrenaline, the experience.

Saturday's Full Fight Card Preview

“So I was actually really happy to get booked at the UFC APEX again. So, during my warmup and during the walk, I can really embrace all of the feelings and emotions that go with fighting. I'm really excited to experience life in the most extreme manner on Saturday.”

Striking the right balance between chaos and control is the key to success for Morono, who paid tribute to the role Fortis MMA head coach Sayif Saud has played in his development as a fighter on the world stage.

Alex Morono punches David Zawada of Germany in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 04, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Alex Morono punches David Zawada of Germany in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 04, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

"Coach Sayif has been a tremendous coach for myself, and even a coach for my coach,” he said.

“Matt Wald is my striking coach. And he'll go up with me to Fortis, and I call coach Sayif his coaching coach, and it’s just helped us build our team of guys in Houston so much.

“Coach really helps me stay calm and controlled, because sometimes I'll get a little too hyped up and sometimes make bad decisions or use too much energy. So he helps me be the meter in terms of just not getting too crazy, but still getting a little crazy.

UFC 300: Every Champion On UFC 300 | Watch The UFC 300 Promo | Justin Gaethje Loves The Unknowns Of Fighting | Max Holloway Just Wants To Build His Legacy | The History Of Chinese Fighters in The UFC | BMF Title Lineage

“I feel like I have that dialed in perfectly for this fight. I'm looking forward to going back to my old-school ways of getting crazy, but also being tactical.

I needed a commander. I’m a general. I needed a commander to give me orders and to listen to and I couldn’t be more grateful for such a great coach.”

While Morono is looking for the perfect balance of smarts and intensity inside the cage, on the mats, he’s continuing his lifelong martial arts journey, and he unlocked a major achievement in the lead-up to Saturday night’s fight when he was presented with his third-degree black belt.

“Nine years as a black belt is the third degree,” he said.

Alex Morono (L) punches Matthew Semelsberger in their welterweight bout during UFC 277 at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Alex Morono (L) punches Matthew Semelsberger in their welterweight bout during UFC 277 at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

"Professor Draculino gave it to me. He just opened up a new gym on the south side of Houston. It's a fortress, congratulations to Professor Drac. He's the man.

“I’ve actually been a black belt longer than I've not been a black belt. And in my last fight camp, I was in great shape, was prepared. But it didn't feel like I got better anywhere.

“In this fight camp. I feel like my grappling got a lot better, which is interesting, because I do so much jiu-jitsu. But I wrestled and clinched a lot for this one, and actually feel like I made some pretty big improvements, physically and technically.

View Morono's Athlete Profile

“I’ve got four more years until my next stripe, which will be cool. A little more than that, actually. So about four-and-a-half years. So I'm looking forward to the fourth degree, which is coming when I'm a little bit older.”

That’s not the only goal Morono has set for himself. He’s targeting a landmark of victories in the UFC, too.

“You know what? Twenty fights was my goal. And you know, I'll have achieved that on Saturday,” he said.

Alex Morono punches Joaquin Buckley in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on October 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC)
Alex Morono punches Joaquin Buckley in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on October 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC)

But turns out that was the wrong goal. Twenty wins needed to be my goal. So, with a win on Saturday, that’s number 13. So 20 wins in the Octagon is my new goal. So I’m going to hit the 20-win mark, and then make new goals.”

To get win number 13, he’ll have to get past a fellow veteran in McGee, who has even more Octagon experience than Morono. “The Crusher” will be making the walk for the 23rd time in the UFC. It’s a matchup Morono admitted he didn’t expect to be offered, but he’s glad to have put pen to paper on a bout agreement to face a man he respects greatly.

“I was very excited to get this matchup,” he said.

“I don't think I've ever seen a matchup coming. Every time I have an opponent in mind, they always just give me somebody I wasn't thinking of, and it's always exciting. Court was one of those guys.

For A Limited Time, Get Ten Dollars Off UFC 300

“I think between he and I, this will be like 43 UFC fights, which is awesome. The veterans won't be around forever, so being able to fight them while they're still in the Octagon is really a goal. And it's funny – in the blink of an eye, I'm one of those veterans now. This is fight number 20 (in the UFC). I'll happily fight the new young guys, eventually, but give me the vets while they’re here.”

Morono also said that his respect for McGee extends beyond his own personal views. He said he even uses McGee’s remarkable journey from drug addict to world-class fighter and advocate for clean living as a good example to his students and teammates at his gym.

“It's always more fun fighting guys you have respect for. I went and saw him yesterday and gave him a hug and told him I was looking forward to the scrap,” he said.

"Not only was he on The Ultimate Fighter, and I was watching him, I think on Spike TV, back in the day, but anyone who uses martial arts to walk a proper path, a better path, is always a story I can get behind. I like to use him as an example to my students of just making a healthy lifestyle. The martial arts lifestyle is a good, clean lifestyle. And that's a story I can always get behind.”

Alex Morono KOs Donald Cerrone | UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez Vs. Waterson
fight pass logo
Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

This video is not available in your country

There was a problem while loading content. Please try again.

Alex Morono KOs Donald Cerrone | UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez Vs. Waterson
/

The respect may be there, but make no mistake, Morono will be bringing all of his familiar intensity to the Octagon when they compete head-to-head at the UFC APEX on Saturday night. For “The Great White,” it’s a case of picking up another victory and claiming another achievement for his ongoing career.

“To me, a knockout is a gold medal, a submission is a silver medal, and a decision is a bronze medal, and I'm just looking to come home with a medal,” he explained.

“So getting my hand raised is what's most important. I do think this fight will take place everywhere. I’ve just gotta be on my A game, fight another vet, (and) it’ll be a fun one.”

UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Curtis 2 took place live from UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6, 2024. See the final Prelim and Main Card Results, Official Scorecards, and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!