The Reidernater Is Poised for Pandemonium

Alex Reid

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 on.

'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 seconds."

Tony Fryklund

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 knocked out."

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 personality?

"Oh, I've got several of those."

Alex, is there anything you'd like to add?

"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."

Your sponsors?

"EAS and Solaray."


Alex 'The Reidernater' Reid's stats
MMA record: 9-4-3
Division: Middleweight
Stance: 90% Orthodox
Height: 6'0"
Date of birth: 21/07/75
Birthplace: Aldershot, England
Fighting out of: London
Gym: London Shootfighters and Reidernater Vale Tudo. 
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