Cosmo Alexandre’s return to mixed martial arts only lasted 29 seconds, but he doesn’t feel 100 percent happy about it.
Alexandre, one of Brazil’s most experienced kickboxers, took on UFC veteran Sage Northcutt in his first MMA bout in almost three years, and stopped him with a brutal right hand at Friday’s ONE Championship event in Singapore.
A day after the contest, Northcutt revealed on social media that he suffered eight fractures and had undergone a nine-hour surgery in Singapore to fix the injuries sustained in the short bout.
”When the fight was over and he got back up his face was already swollen, and that’s something unusual,” Alexandre told MMA Fighting. “I had a feeling that it wasn’t 100 percent. I left the ring and went backstage to see the doctor, he was in a different room, but I decided not to get in there because there was too many people out there. When they brought a stretcher, I knew something serious had happened.”
Alexandre only heard about the effects of his right hand when Northcutt posted about it on his social media.
”The next day I heard that he had a long surgery. I hate that, man,” Alexandre said. “I’m doing my job there, to go in there and win. I know we can get hurt, but nothing that serious. I was sad because that’s his job and I don’t wish that to anyone.”
The vicious knockout went viral immediately, but the Brazilian didn’t approve the way some fans talked about Northcutt in the aftermath.
”When I got back to the hotel there were a lot of messages online, people talking trash at him,” Alexandre said. “I honestly don’t know why. I can’t understand why people hate him so much. I don’t know if it’s because he’s good looking, like a model. I can’t understand, and I don’t like that. I asked people to stop tagging me on those messages.”
An 89-fight veteran under kickboxing rules and 8-1 with six knockouts in MMA, Alexandre did not expect to win that quickly. However, he admits to be surprised with the amount of hype around Northcutt going into the fight.
A former Bellator fighter himself, Alexandre doesn’t watch UFC events that often. In fact, he didn’t even know how to correctly pronounce Northcutt’s name until after the event. He had only watched a video of one of Northcutt’s UFC wins, and was told “that’s what he always does.”
His initial reaction was, “no big deal.” Alexandre worked on his takedown defense after learning that Northcutt was training at Team Alpha Male, but mostly sharpened his already deadly striking skills for his MMA return.
”Americans would tell me he was badass, and my question was always the same: What did he win?” Alexandre said. “I was not being arrogant, it was an honest question. I wanted to know who did he beat, what did he win. He never beat nobody, never won anything that I know of.”
Alexandre and Northcutt met in a 185-pound contest in Singapore, since ONE doesn’t allow fighters to dehydrate. The Brazilian says he weighed around 185 pounds when he entered the ring on Friday, and that people can’t blame the weight on the result.
”I thought it would take longer, but I forget about the size of gloves,” said Alexandre, who fought most of his career in Bellator as a lightweight, between 2011 and 2012. “I’m used to fighting with 8oz, 10oz gloves, and it never crossed my mind that with small MMA gloves, if one good hand landed clean, he would probably go down.”
Alexandre considered to retire from combat sports after such an impressive victory in Asia. With three bouts left on his contract with ONE Championship, though, he plans on pocketing some cash before walking into the sunset.
If offered the same amount of money going forward, Alexandre would choose going back to muay thai over kickboxing and MMA next, and welcomes new sponsors after the spotlight that his win over Northcutt brought.
”I’ve fought everyone and won everything I could win in muay thai. The major titles, I’ve fought and won them all, so there’s no goal left. And neither in MMA,” Alexandre said. “Being the ONE champion, being a UFC champion, I don’t have that (desire). The thing for me now is making money. I want to retire soon, so all I think about is money.
“Having good fights, of course, to finish my career on a high note, and make money. It’s up to ONE now. I have can fight muay thai, kickboxing or MMA there.”