At 12 years old, Alexi Argyriou took up kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu – 4 years later, he would pen to paper on his first professional contract with Maximum Fighting Championship. At that point, MFC owner Mark Pavelich had big plans for the 16 year old who was still 2 years away from being legally allowed to compete. Of the young Alexi, Pavelich said “We have the best young fighter anywhere now in our organization” – what’s more, Alexi’s coach, Adam Zugec, was going even further by drawing parallels with the then-Pound for Pound kingpin, Jose Aldo.
So was it all hyperbole? Seven years down the line, the 23 year old Canadian sports a perfect 5-0 MMA record (if you overlook a recent bout with Hamilton Ash that was ruled a No Contest after repeated lighting failures), as well as an unblemished 4-0 amateur record. With 4 finishes to his credit throughout his professional career, Alexi is starting to stand out amongst his peers as one of Canada’s most promising lightweights – and could yet follow in the footsteps of outspoken UFC star Elias Theodorou.
While lazy parallels could be drawn with ‘The Spartan’ courtesy of his nickname, ‘Sexy’ Alexi insists he is a victim of a juvenile handle – for from being self-chosen, Alexi says that in Middle School girls started calling him it, and it just happened to stick. Alexi, instead, presents himself as a humble, if driven, martial artist with a real dedication to his craft. This isn’t a rush-job, either. With only 6 fights in the past 3 years, Alexi outlines the importance of improvement through practice, and not purely experience. With this kind of patient mentality, Alexi might hold off from making the leap to the uppermost echelons of the sport right away – and it might just pay dividends.
Having picked apart Mike O’Neill and Nate Oses in his third and fourth fights respectively, and dominated and controlled Adam Smith to a Unanimous Decision verdict in late 2016, Alexi may well see the aborted Hamilton Ash fight as lost time – but with the fight expected to happen in the future according to Argyriou’s Twitter, this time we can expect a clear winner between the one-time MMA wunderkind and a 5-2 opponent with a penchant for chokehold submissions. Oregon’s Ash would love to spoil the party for the highly promising Canadian and emerge with his hand raised.
But that will be easier said than done against a competitor that has long attracted the highest of praise.