Upon signing with TKO almost one year ago, Alex Morgan was very adamant in what he wanted: fight the best 145 pound fighters available in order to grow as a fighter and reach his goals. That is why it came as a shock to no one when it was announced a few weeks ago that Morgan would be taking on the biggest challenge of his career in Brazilian star Joao Luiz Nogueira.
“I want to fight better, more experienced opponents” said Morgan. “Nogueira represents a big challenge and a big risk, but that’s the level I feel I’m at now.” It is quite difficult to disagree with that self-assessment. After winning only once in his first three pro outings, Morgan has now been victorious in his last 6 fights, with 4 of those victories coming by TKO.
How does one achieve so much? In Morgan’s own words: dedication. “I give my all in training every day. I’m 100% devoted to this sport; I live in the gym. For this fight, I put all the efforts in and sacrificed my entire summer to ensure I would come out on top. I’m ready.”
As noted, Nogueira is exactly the type of opponent Morgan needs to measure himself against if he wishes to move on to the next level. With 20 career finishes almost evenly divided between knockouts and submissions, he is a danger everywhere and at all times. Despite that, Morgan is confident he can get his hand raised when the final bell sounds: “Every fighter has weaknesses” he noted. “My coaches and I have watched his fights and even though that doesn’t tell the whole story, we’ve found some areas that we’d like to exploit and I plan on doing just that. This won’t be an easy fight. I have planned for the worst but I visualize the best. One thing is for sure: I’m going to hurt him”
Training under Pascal Chambodie at Gladiateur MMA and the world famous Tristar Gym, Morgan and his team have carved out a path that they feel will lead him to the UFC. Based on short term gains to achieve long term goals, he feels he is not far from joining the top mixed martial arts promotion in the world.
With a victory on Friday, the next stop on Morgan’s journey would be a TKO featherweight championship bout with Charles Jourdain come December, a dream match for fight fans if there ever was one. Despite that, Morgan remains focused on himself, a strategy that has definitely paid off for him thus far. “I have what it takes to beat Charles both in skill and experience. He’s hungry but so am I. I’m in my prime and I’m very close to achieving my goals. I won’t let anyone stand in my way.”
Nogueira vs Morgan is one of the most highly anticipated fights on Friday’s TKO40 card and you can expect the atmosphere to be incredible for this one. Morgan likely has the biggest local fan base of any TKO fighter and his supporter will be sure to provide him with all the energy he needs in order to overcome the Brazilian superstar.
Tickets for TKO40 are still on sale – call the ticket office now at 514-700-0999!
– story by Patrick Lono, TKO