Sometimes life just really works things out in such a way that you almost feel as if it were scripted that way. When it occurs in the world of combat sports, I find it to be exciting beyond belief.
Alex Nicholson was born to fight. Let me rephrase that, Alex Nicholson was bred to fight. His father Mark Nicholson made sure of that! A fighter in his own right from a different era, and he is one of the toughest, no-nonsense men I have ever come across since I have been involved in the combat sports community! He raised Alex in his image, and we have been fortunate to see Nicholson’s career develop from the beginning until today.
Apopka, Florida is where Nicholson calls home, An athlete that can do it all, Nicholson was, and still is an incredible basketball player, but he chose to put his athletic ability to use inside a cage, and he’s made quite a nice living doing so. Could he have made more money in the NBA? Absolutely! Would he be as happy dropping threes and dunks as he is dropping other men with his fists, I think not?
Nicholson punched and kicked his way to the UFC. He didn’t achieve the success he was looking for and was released after 4 fights. He had a family to feed so he hit the regional circuit again to work his way back to the big shows. He did make enough of an impact on the regional scene going 4-1 with 3 KO/TKO’s and one submission and caught the eyes of Pro Fight League (PFL) who signed him to compete as a heavyweight in their million-dollar tournament. He won 3 out of 7 fights over his 2 seasons with PFL, and again, was released, but this time it wasn’t because of his record, he was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for doping.
According to the NAC, Nicholson tested positive for multiple anabolic steroids: drostanolone, nandrolone, and trenbolone. The failed test stemmed from his Oct. 31 loss against Francimar Barroso at PFL 2019, Playoffs 3. He was suspended for 4 years, even though this was the first offense, which normally carries a maximum 2-year suspension, however, the commission deemed he didn’t cooperate with their investigation, and with so many substances in his sample, he was suspended under the “aggravated circumstances” addendum, which allows the commission to double the normal maximum term, which they did in swift fashion.
Many thought that this was a death sentence for his professional fighting career, except for Nicholson, who was adamant that he would return, and when he did, he would be coming for all the smoke!
With the help of Island Fights promoter, and matchmaker for iKON FC and Gamebred FC Dean Toole, plus Malki and Abe Kawa of First Round Management, his suspension has now been lifted after 2 years, which is what it should have been in the first place, and Nicholson is cleared to compete once again. The question was where would he resurface.
Would PFL bring him back? Would he head back to the regional scene to rebuild his career? There was a lot of talk between Nicholson and BKFC President David Feldman, and many felt BKFC had the inside track to acquire his services, especially after Nicholson showed up and entered the ring to call out BKFC Heavyweight Champion Joey Beltran after he defended his belt at BKFC18 against Sam Shewmaker. However while all the above scenarios seemed like one would be the answer, there was another suitor that had their eye on Nicholson, and that was the upstart bare-knuckle MMA promotion started by UFC star Jorge Masvidal, Gambred Fighting Championship, and they got their man.
Early on Friday, August 20th, the official announcement that Alex Nicholson was back was made, and as quickly as that happened it was also announced that Nicholson was scheduled to be one half of the main event at #GFC2 on September 11th in Biloxi, Mississippi and that he would face fellow UFC veteran Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. This bout will be 3 rounds and contested in bare-knuckle MMA.
With Nicholson’s kill or be killed attitude, and approach to professional fighting, and that same attitude personified by his new boss Jorge Masvidal, this signing should come as no surprise to the combat sports community, but it was. Nobody saw this coming. However, it makes more sense than any other option for Nicholson. It allows him to get back to his career, and with no gloves, it will showcase his favorite thing to do, which is punching another man in the face and putting his lights out! 2 years away is a long time, but Nicholson never stopped training, not ever, as he knew that this day would come, and he was going to be ready to go at the drop of a hat!
GFC2 takes place September 11th in Biloxi, Mississippi, and will air exclusively on the BKTV app.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.