Alex Reid making MMA comeback to beat midlife crisis
Alex Reid is making a return to cage fighting to snap himself out of a midlife crisis.
The 40-year-old fighter is making a mixed martial arts comeback four years after retiring following a career that had spanned over 300 bouts.
Alex admits he hit a low point in his life earlier this year as he struggled to deal with the death of his father Bob - who passed away at the age of 77 in December - cope with mounting debts and fight for custody of his daughter with ex-fiancée Chantelle Houghton, while also having to deal with barbs aimed at him by his ex-wife Katie Price.
Alex went to see an MMA show and after getting the buzz again for the sport and after a conversation with his brother-in-law he decided he wanted to slip on the gloves again and step inside the cage.
He said: "The other day after spending time with an old friend and fellow athlete, chatting about the past, I found myself reminiscing about the my earlier fighting career, sitting there wondering, 'Is this it?' Maybe the best days of my life are all behind me?
"Since my dad's recent passing, other distressing personal issues and stagnating challenges surrounding my career, I have been left feeling nonchalant and if I'm honest, a little despondent, a little like 'What's the point in anything?' But this all changed when at a recent family gathering, my brother in-law, seeing me feeling down, gave me his friendly big brother advice and suggested that I need a project, a focus of some kind, something I can really get my teeth into and focus on once again. A new mission perhaps!
"After going to that show ... I got a call from an old promoter who'd looked after me many years ago. 'Hey Alex, how old are you? When did you last fight? Would you fight again?' I responded, 'Are you crazy? I can hardly walk properly, I'm in pain 24/7! Thanks for the offer, but I'd rather be a presenter.'
"I couldn't stop thinking about it, what if? Well, Mr. Reid, I said to myself, it's time to put your money where your mouth is!
"I love a challenge, and although there was no real money on the table, I was, and am now inspired to get back on the horse, and actually enjoy it, and with this attitude, I feel truly inspired once again!"
Alex - who is now engaged to Nikki Manashe - is due to have his comeback fight on July 16 at a Bellator MMA show at The O2 arena in London on the same card that legendary fighter Kimbo Slice is appearing on.
Win, lose or draw, the former 'Celebrity Big Brother' winner feels energised both "spiritually and mentally" since he started training again.
In a blog for The Huffington Post, he added: "I may not win ... but my whole reason for putting myself back in a competing arena isn't to knock up a victory on my record, (although that would be nice), but to get back into serious completion shape, to once again live in vibrancy and to be full of energy, to embrace life and everything in this glorious world ... I am re-energised and rejuvenated spiritually and mentally! I'm like the little kid Alexander who just watched his first Bruce Lee film, the eternal Peter Pan back where he belongs, metaphorically jumping around the room, throwing kicks and busting moves."