The Reidernater Is Poised for
© Marc Wickert
photos © Cage Rage
It's early Tuesday morning in London, and Alex Reid is at home - busily
getting ready for a private lesson with a new student he has just taken
'The Reidernater' is a very sought-after personal trainer in the UK. And
when he's not submitting opponents with his renowned triangle chokes,
this Cage Rage star helps pay the bills by kicking customers into shape
outside the ring.
However, it was more fantasy than business that first lured Alex into a
fighting art at the tender age of 14: "I grew up on superheroes.
knights, wizards and things. I got into lots of fights as a kid - the
price of wanting to be a superhero. And I guess I never really grew up.
All of a sudden, when kids started getting stronger, I needed an
advantage and turned to martial arts," says Reid.
"Also, I got beaten up a few times and I didn't like it. The shoe
being on the other foot, I decided I wanted to defend myself. It really
changed my whole life: I mean it is my whole life, now."
With an inborn tendency to be competitive and the determination to seek
out the ultimate fighting system, Alex turned to MMA. "It was just
a natural progression. I started off doing kung fu/karate-style
tournaments before moving on to boxing, kickboxing, a little bit of
judo, jiu jitsu. MMA was a natural progression for a young lad wanting
to find the latest and best style. It's just the most efficient and
effective blend of martial arts really."
Training twice a day, between five and six days a week, Alex
somehow juggles his private tuition with his own hectic training
sessions - a task that just gets tougher leading up to tournaments.
"If I'm feeling tired, I try to take a day off. I always try to
take one day a week off, but sometimes it doesn't happen.
"But if I'm having a busy schedule. The life of a fighter isn't set
in concrete, schedule-wise. Fighting isn't the most lucrative sport, so
I have to pick up pieces here and there, and that of course affects my
training program. If something comes in, I think: What should I do - go
down the gym or put food on the table?"
Fortunately Reid can afford to ease off with his own training when he's
not preparing for a specific fight. But when he does have an appointment
with Cage Rage, sleep can be a luxury. "I don't go mad all the
time. But sometimes it gets a bit more intense. Yesterday, I trained
four times. But I'm feeling it today. I want to have a good break for
the rest of the day, although I'm sparring later this evening. So I'll
just take it easy until tonight, and then I'll step it up."
The scales can be another worthy opponent leading up to competition. And
for Alex, cutting down to middleweight is often somewhat of a challenge.
"Normally, I need to cut weight. I'm quite heavy at the moment, so
I need to do a lot of running and training. I fight as a middleweight,
but presently I'm heavier than a light-heavy, which is crazy. When I
lose that poundage I'll be so powerful. I feel powerful at the moment.
And what I do - the Americans especially are great at it - I cut weight,
because we weigh-in the day before."
Guys like Rich Franklin?
"Oh, yeah. I met him in Las Vegas and he was massive! He was one of
the guys who inspired me to put on a bit more weight and cut it. Well,
I've got to if I seriously consider myself competing at the highest
level, which I do."
Alex, do you do a lot of lifting?
"Yeah, I love weights. I mean, I grew up with Sylvester Stallone in
the Rocky films, and his physique was phenomenal. I do weights twice a
week - minimum, but I also do push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups - not so
much weight training but body-weight exercises.
"For a fight, it's more about explosive power. And I find that for
striking, it's really good to be explosive. But for MMA you also need to
have stamina-strength and muscle endurance, so I do a lot of higher reps
to simulate a fight. I have very good muscle endurance and I wear people
down. I seem to get stronger as we go on.
"They might get the shoot and take me down. 'Ah, bollocks.' But my
will is so strong they're not going to break me. I'm very explosive on
my feet, though on the ground I'm not as explosive - I'm more of a
spoiler, but I do have some wicked submissions."
What are your thoughts on Tony Fryklund?
"He's been in the game a long time. since UFC 18, so he's been
fighting all that time. I met him on a couple of occasions. He's
actually quite a nice guy. I went to Las Vegas to watch the UFC, and at
the hotel where we were staying they had these tryouts for the K-1. I
thought: 'Blimey, can I have a go?' Tony was there also, and we got
selected. We became friends, which is going to be funny. We're not
really good friends, and I don't want to really hurt him, or anything..
but I'm going to."
Why do you think your bout with Tony is
so highly anticipated by the fans?
"Well, he's yet to prove himself in the UK, and he's probably
trying to renew his career, while I'm trying to jump-start mine. That's
why people want to see it happen.
"Also, he's a banger, and I'm a banger as well. But I'm yet
to have a really good war with somebody in Cage Rage. I've had lots of
wars in other competitions, but in Cage Rage I've yet to have a decent
one. Although some people like to see submissions, I think the majority
likes to see knockouts. At the last round with Dave Menne, I dropped him
twice, but he just managed to hold on for the final thirty
You've been over in Thailand sharpening
up your elbows for Tony, I've heard.
"Yeah. It's crazy because I didn't realize I was going to be
fighting Tony. But Anderson Silva fought Tony at Cage Rage 16 and
knocked him out with an elbow. Watching Anderson is what inspired me to
go to Thailand and train up on my elbows. This is something that not
many homemade guys are working on.
"I'd been to Thailand before and remembered how good their elbows
were, and thought, 'Let's go and play with this.' As soon as I got back,
I was offered the fight with Tony. Isn't that crazy? I went over there
because I was inspired by Anderson, and now I'm fighting the guy he
Apparently you've said you intend
trading blow for blow with Fryklund.
"Well I don't really want to. That's a fight, and I don't want to
be in the fight - I just want to take him out. That's the science of the
sport: It's not about being in the fight - it's about using superior
technology, and overwhelming an opponent. I'm more than prepared for the
fight, obviously, and the crowd likes to see a fight, but if everything
goes to plan, it won't be a fight - I'll just take him out."
Will competing in front of your home
crowd be an advantage to you, or do you tune out?
"I do tune out. But I'm a bit controversial in this country: I've
got half the people hating me, and the other half absolutely love me.
But people want to see me - one way or the other."
So you could end up with a split
"Oh, I've got several of those."
Alex, is there anything you'd like to
"Thank you to all my friends and trainers at Reidernater Vale Tudo,
all the guys who run London Shootfighters, and all my fans. And hello to
those who don't love me as well."
"EAS and Solaray."
Reidernater' Reid's stats
Stance: 90% Orthodox
Date of birth: 21/07/75
Birthplace: Aldershot, England
Fighting out of: London
Gym: London Shootfighters and Reidernater Vale Tudo.
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