Alexis Fontes: On the road to a first world title

A former judoka and high-level grappler, Alexis Fontes has made a highly successful transition to mixed martial arts. On February 10, he’ll have the opportunity to reach a new level in the cage, when he faces Matthieu Letho Duclos for the HEXAGONE MMA middleweight world title. An unmissable event.

In the world of martial arts, Alexis Fontes (32) has known just about everything. While he’ll soon be fighting for the HEXAGONE MMA world title, the Frenchman comes with the experience of fifteen years spent at the highest level, and in several different disciplines. Alexis Fontes has been practicing judo since his earliest childhood, and made a name for himself on the tatamis, quickly becoming one of the country’s elite. “I took part in several international tournaments. As part of the French team, I even trained with Teddy Riner! But in 2015, I ruptured the cruciate ligaments in my knee, and I never really came back. I’d outgrown my youth, I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore, and I needed new challenges.” So Alexis Fontes tried his hand at grappling… The result: an exceptional first season, ending with three podiums at the French, European, and world championships. A real exploit. “I didn’t understand what was going on, I took the place in the French team of guys who’d been training for ten years.” 

“My grappling is a strong point, no question about it”.

But today, despite a well-stocked trophy cabinet, the grappling parenthesis is definitively closed. At the age of 32, Alexis Fontes has chosen to devote himself fully to MMA, to shine in a third different discipline. For all that, the Rémois fighter hasn’t reinvented himself. A grappler specialist, he’s managed to transfer his skills to the cage and is now racking up submission wins with ease. Evidence indeed that 100% of his successes have come in the first round – unbelievable! “My grappling is a strong point, that’s for sure, but it’s not yet totally adapted to MMA. I’ve done 24 years of judo, so I’ve got some reflexes ingrained in me that I need to develop.” There’s plenty of room for improvement, and Alexis Fontes has no intention of stopping there, as MMA is now at the center of his life. “In addition to my fighting career, I now manage an 800 m² training room in Reims. It takes up a lot of my time, but I work hard. I’m going for that belt!”

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