Gregg “The Brick” Brickman, is the Executive Chef and Director of Product Development for Hooters of America, based in Atlanta. Gregg graduated from Johnson and Wales University and has
helped to lead the menu development efforts for the Hooters brand for the last several years, including their most recent creation, smoked wings.
When he’s not delighting the taste buds of Hooters’ guests, he’s training to smoke his opponents in the ring. The 45-year old chef will temporarily be hanging up his oven mitts for a pair of boxing gloves to participate in the upcoming Corporate Fight Night (CFN) event to be held at the Georgia Aquarium, here in Atlanta. Training since January of 2016, “The Brick” will be taking on Ed McAlexander in a heavyweight bout on October 21 at CFN 12. More info about the event can be found here.
(UPDATED: Brickman vs McAlexander has been promoted to the Co-Main Event of the night)
When most people want to get into shape, they pick up running, start going to the gym, or latch on to the latest diet craze. Well that’s just a little too “blah” for the Hooters head chef. “I started boxing because I was bored with all the other stuff.” said “The Brick” in a recent interview with AtlantaFights.com. “I would start working out and then three weeks later I would find an excuse not to go and it just was never exciting. It wasn’t fun. I competed in high school – I was a wrestler – so I remember really enjoying wrestling, and I thought I’d try my hand at boxing or something else. So I went to Buckhead Fight Club, started boxing, and I got talked into doing the fight.”
It’s hard to imagine that there are any parallels between developing tasty menu items at an iconic casual dining brand and attempting to do harm inside the square circle, but Brickman begs to differ. “Certainly there are [parallels], working on the [Cooks] line and how tough it is and trying to keep up with stamina and realizing you can’t fall or quit the first time you get burnt or the first time you get
punched.” Brickman explains. “There are similarities. It’s going to happen. You’re going to get hit. You’ve got to press forward no matter what. You’re going to press forward. And I like it because just like with cooking, it’s all on you. In boxing, if something goes wrong, you can’t blame anybody else. It’s all on you.”
Brickman’s a pretty friendly guy at the office according to his peers and amongst his colleagues in the industry, but it’s clear he’s got his game face on in preparation for his fight against Ed “The Rainmaker” McAlexander. When asked what he thought about “The Rainmaker”, Brickman said “I don’t. I’m sure he’s a nice guy. We talked a few times. I’m trying – until after our fight, I really don’t want to think anything about him. I’m purposely trying not to get too personal with him, just so I go into it not having any feelings and being okay with punching him in the face.”
So far “The Brick” is keeping his strategy pretty simple in his debut. Or is he keeping his strategy under wraps? Who knows. But here’s what he says about his upcoming tactics. “You know, it’s hard to set up strategy when you don’t know how he’s fighting and it’s not like both of us have been fighting for years,” Brickman says. “We’re probably both just going to be really happy to get past the second round. I think the biggest thing for me is to pace myself and to make sure that I breathe [chuckles]. You know, I just can’t forget to breathe. I think he’s a little bit smaller than I am, and I think I’ll have the reach on him. I think I’ll have the power on him. And I’m just going to go in and see how it goes.”
The corporate chef has loved his experience training for this fight over the last year, but he isn’t shy about how he feels about his trainer, Terri Moss, who is also the promoter for CFN, the owner of Buckhead Fight Club, and a member of the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame. “Working out at Buckhead Fight Club is great,” Brickman explains. “Working out with Terri, she’s evil [chuckles], and it has been challenging. Everybody that I train with there, it’s a great workout. I enjoy it very much.”
What do you say when a member of your family decides all of a sudden, later in their career to begin prize fighting? At the Brickman household it’s been a pretty positive experience, but they are ready for him to quit coming home looking as if he just got jumped in an alleyway. “They are happy that I’m doing something that I like,” Brickman said happily. “They’re looking forward to it being over so I can spend more time with them at home. And they’re tired of me coming home with black eyes. I’ve gotten very, very good at catching punches with my face. I can catch them better than anybody.”
Being the culinary “wizard” at Hooters, and an important face in their menu development programs, you’d think the iconic brand would be a little leery of Brickman jumping into the ring, but it’s quite the contrary. “They think it’s pretty cool, although I don’t think they understand why at 45 somebody would start boxing,” Brickman explains.
Brickman is a pretty funny guy and always tries to keep things light even in thanking those that have supported him over the last year as he attempts to achieve his boxing goals. When asked who he wanted to thank, Brickman said “Just the Academy and everybody at Buckhead Fight Club and everybody here at work who’s encouraged me and obviously my wife and kids who– actually, oddly enough my kids think it’s great that I’m getting punched. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing.” Sounds like his kiddos are looking for a little pay back.
On October 21st, the public will officially get an opportunity to smell what the chef has cooking, at least in the ring. And luckily, he’s fighting a person in the finance industry and not another chef, because you know the old adage about too many cooks.
Learn more about the main event fighter V. Anthony Johnson next week on AtlantaFights.com.
Want to know more about some of the brave corporate pugilists fighting at Corporate Fight Night (CFN) 12? Well you’re in luck. Over the next couple weeks Atlanta Fights will be profiling some of the fighters on the stacked CFN 12 fight card that takes place on October 21 at the Georgia Aquarium. The event will showcase the best in amateur boxing, muay thai, and MMA.
Today’s profile is of Ed McAlexander, whose career in financial staffing couldn’t be ANY more different than punching people in the face. “The Rain Maker” makes his amateur boxing debut against Gregg “The Brick” Brickman, who is also debuting as an amateur.
Here’s 10 questions with Ed “The Rain Maker” McAlexander
AtlantaFights.com: What do you do for a living?
McAlexander: I have my own staffing company. I place accounting and finance professionals both on a permanent and contract basis. So, I’ve been self-employed for almost 12 and a half years now – since I was 29.
AtlantaFights.com: Why did you decide to jump into the ring?
McAlexander: I guess I’ve always been a fan of boxing. And of course anybody our age, I’m 41, so of course when I was 10 years old it was Rocky IV, Ivan Drago, and Rocky Balboa fighting in Moscow. That made an impression on me. That was always intriguing. And I guess at 10 years old I was like, oh, yeah, I’d love to find the time to get in the boxing ring. But I don’t know, boxing wasn’t as big to the youth back then. I was into football, basketball, whatever. And of course trying to get that diploma and getting my grades; being the son of two professors, they do not quit stressing academics and grades. So, I guess a few years ago I started taking boxing lessons, but I sparred for the first time about a month or so ago and that was interesting or sure. Definitely different when you’re getting hit.
AtlantaFights.com: What sort of experience in the ring do you have? Have you had other fights?
McAlexander: I wish I did. I wish I did. This is my first one. This will be my debut.
AtlantaFights.com: What do your employees think of what you’re doing?
McAlexander: [chuckles] They’re interested. They’re intrigued. Both my employees are part-time. One of them is one of my best friend’s daughters, and the other one is one of my best friend’s wife. So, they’re intrigued and they are very supportive and will be going to the event and all that good stuff.
AtlantaFights.com: What does your family think about you jumping into the ring?
McAlexander:My mom is not going to the fight. Dad will go to the fight because we have some family members coming in from Mississippi. You know how mothers are. They don’t want to see people get hurt.
AtlantaFights.com:Now that you’ve got a month under your belt as far as some sparring, what do you consider your fighting style? Are you a counter-puncher? Are you the aggressor? What do you consider the style that is the most natural to you so far?
McAlexander:That’s a great question. I’m just such a novice. I don’t know if I can really pinpoint one strategy or the other. I know Gregg (Brickman) has got me by three or four inches on the height, so I’m definitely not going to have the reach here. [chuckles] Yeah, no that’s an intriguing question, maybe as my skill set gets better and– if I can get the “W” against Gregg and then participate next year, I might be able to answer that better. This being the first fight, it’s tough to answer that, it could be all of the above [laughter].
AtlantaFights.com:Do you have multiple trainers or do you have just one person that’s helping you out? Are they focusing on the fundamentals or some specific– some technique for you?
McAlexander:A little bit of both. I do have a few trainers, but I guess the main trainer is, Delgado Boxing with Jerrid Burke, my trainer there. I have another trainer that has a taekwondo gym, and I’ve known him since I was nine years old, so I trained with him a little bit – he’s decent with his hands, but, of course, the main gym, here, that is in the discussion is Delgado Boxing.
AtlantaFights.com: What do you make of your opponent? You talked about Gregg (Brickman) a little bit regarding his height or reach, anything else stands out for you, when it comes to Gregg?
McAlexander:I’ve heard from a lot of people that he’s a nice guy. Ironically, one of my top clients– he works with one of my top clients – a client of mine in the past. He called me the other day and said, “Hey, are you fighting Brickman?” And I said yes, and he said Gregg is a real nice guy, etc.
Obviously, Terry (Moss – owner of Buckhead Fight Club) said that Gregg is an extremely nice guy. And he and I talked a little bit at the photo shoot and at the press conference. And obviously, their words have seemed to come to fruition. He seems like a good guy. He seems like he’s focused on this to– I guess, maybe in the beginning it was to lose weight, and I think he told me he’s lost about 30 pounds so far. So, I think you can never take your opponent lightly. Boxing or MMA fighting is very hard to predict, so I need to train for this like I’m a 20 to 25:1 underdog. That’s my approach.
AtlantaFights.com:Are you going to have a strategy for Gregg?
McAlexander:I think there can be a few different strategies. One thing that– and I know Gregg might kick himself after this, but I mean, yeah, like when we were– I was standing next to Gregg for a long time at that photo shoot and I was like, “Gregg, how tall are you?” And he would tell me 6’3 to 6’4 and I was like, okay, I’m not going to have to reach here. That might deter our strategy, our opening strategy, a little bit knowing that he’s a pretty tall guy and he’s going to have to reach on me. I think there could be a few strategies and then as you know, in sports there’s always adjustments. Of course in this case there could be adjustments between rounds, etc.
AtlantaFights.com:What should fans expect out of you on October 21st?
McAlexander: [chuckles] Some of you are going to drive a long way. Obviously, they want the “W”. Obviously I want the “W”. Obviously Gregg wants the “W”, but it is just so– boxing like I said before is so hard to predict and I’m not going to be taking him lightly. He’s a big guy. He’s a big guy and has the reach on me. Like I’ve said before, I know his character is top-notch according to our mutual friend. But I’m going to train for this like I’m a 20:1 underdog. I think that’s the only way to train for it. Because if you flip the script and go the other way, then getting over-confident, that’s never good.
Come back next week to learn a little bit more about, McAlexander’s opponent, Gregg “The Brick” Brickman
Learn more about the event or purchase tickets by going HERE.
Have you ever wanted take one of your co-workers out to the woodshed and show them a thing or two? C’mon you know there is at least ONE person in your career that deserved a stiff jab to the nose or an overhand right to the jaw leaving them lying unconscious on the ground in a pool of their own blood?
Well, if you wanted to obtain that sensation for real (while not getting fired) you can always become a fighter for Corporate Fight Night (CFN). The Atlanta-based promotion, is owned by former boxer, Terri Moss, who was recently inducted into the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame (along side Laila Ali and others). Moss “The Boss” serves as the chairman of women’s boxing for the Champions of Dignity Association (CODA) which financially supports the Retired Boxer’s Foundation (RBF) and in 2012 she was designated as a coordinator for the Women’s International Boxing Federation (WIBF) and the Global Boxing Union (GBU) where she assists in sanctioning and supervising for men’s (GBU) and women’s (WIBF & GBU) world championship fights. She’s also the owner of Buckhead Fight Club.
Founded in 2010, CFN prides itself on creating “black-tie black-eye affairs”, matching white-collar corporate folks with fight aspirations together inside the ring; usually for a good charity. The organization looks for individuals that aspire to rise up through the corporate ladder while at the same time raising their fists inside the square circle.
On October 21, CFN (as it has done for over the last 6 years) will be hosting a high-end white collar charity boxing show. CFN 12, will take place at the Georgia Aquarium and will showcase thirteen boxing , muay thai, and MMA bouts. The main event will be an MMA bout headlined by a music industry professional, V. Anthony Johnson. His opponent is still to be determined. The charity chosen for CFN 12 will be Charity: Water, an organization that provides water and water systems for those individuals and communities in need.
A press conference for the October show was held on Aug 31 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Downtown Atlanta. The event provided the public with a first glimpse of the white-collar pugilists that will soon be throwing down. The shindig, which was emceed by Vince “The Voice” Bailey, was a lively showcase of each fighter on the card. See a quick introduction of each fighter below.
If you want more info about the organization, (whether that’s to attend an event, to become a sponsor, or to become a fighter) go to www.corporatefightnight.com to get the deets.
Look for upcoming profiles on such fighters as V. Anthony Johnson, Gregg “The Brick” Brickman, and Ed “The Rainmaker” McAlexander (and others).
Click here for a photo gallery of the press conference.
V. Anthony Johnson: Johnson will serve as the main event against an opponent to be determined. He’s a music industry professional in the ATL and will be fighting an MMA bout at 155 lbs. “I’m gonna come fight” he said at the press conference.
Roberto “Chino” Escalante: Chino, 32 years old, has been boxing for 2 years and currently trains at Buckhead Fight Club. The Mexico-born fighter currently works in construction. Escalante has been in previous CFN shows. He kept it short and simple at the press conference with “I love boxing.” He does not have an identified opponent for him yet, but it will likely be a kickboxing or Muay Thai bout.
“Vicious” Victor Ramirez : Born in Acapulco, “Vicious” is currently the Banquet Supervisor at Maggiano’s Little Italy. The 25 year old boxer also participated in CFN 10. As far as CFN 12, Ramirez said this, “I’m planning on finishing the fight pretty fast so I can enjoy the rest of night.”
Greame “The Kitchen” Wicks: Wicks is 28 years old and is currently working as an Engineer. He wrestled in high school and has also previously practiced karate. Originally from Louisville, KY, “The Kitchen” will be making is boxing debut on October 21. “We’ll find out if I can take him,” said Wicks when asked about his opponent Ramirez.
“Money” Mike Green: Originally from Philly, Money trained at the same gym as Bernard Hopkins Jr. He currently serves as a Community Developer in the Atlanta area and also works for the Atlanta Mayor (on the campaign side). “I want to spend more time boxing in order to use the sport as a way to teach kids in my community about life the way my coach taught me,” said Green at the press conference.
Jasmin Hodivic: Hodivic was unable to attend the press conference. AtlantaFights.com will try to get more information on him shortly. He’ll be fighting at 165 lbs and will be taking on “Money” Mike Green.
Brian “Battalion Stallion” Mize: Mize is an IT Professional and Army Chaplain who is 47 years of age. He’s been watching boxing since he was a kid and that inspired him to pick up the gloves. “This is a chance to raise money for a cause that matters, while also drawing attention to the Soldiers that I work with and their daily struggles,” Mize says.
Troy “Muddy Waters” Von Otnott: “Muddy Waters” is a clean energy developer originally from New Orleans. The 50 year old, formerly in the military, says “I enjoy competitive sports and I want to raise money for charity:water.” As for his opponent (Brian Mize), an officer in the Army, Von Otnott says this, “Officers used to boss me around now I get to punch them in the face.”
Gregg “The Brick” Brickman: “The Brick” is the Executive Chef at Hooters of America based in Atlanta. The 45 year old fighter says this, “I wanted a challenge. I needed to get back into shape, and to push myself. I thought ACFN was a great cause and a good way to get involved.” When asked about his technique at the press conference, Brickman said, “I’m like lighting.” He also mentioned that Hooters Girls will be the designated Ring Card Girls for the event. Nice!
Ed “The Rainmaker” McAlexander: “The Rainmaker” is the owner of a staffing company that specializes in accounting and finance professionals. When asked about his opponent (Gregg Brickman) the 41 year old said this, “He’s a big guy. I’m gonna make it rain.”
Geoffrey “Rock em” Robbins: Robbins is the Director of Phoenix-Fidels Foundation, an organization that focuses on family wellness programs. CFN 12 will be his fourth CFN event. He’s currently 1-2. Asked about why he does it, the 49 year old “Rock em” says “it’s just fun”.
“Austell” Todd Sentell: Sentell heads the Career Prep Program at Cumberland Academy of Georgia in Sandy Springs. “Austell” is 55 years old and said this about his willingness to fight, “Because that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Ashton “Smashed-In” Lane: Lane, a professional skydiver, has been boxing for about a year. The 26 year old Atlanta native said this about why she jumped into the ring, “I fell in love with it. When Terri mentioned ACFN, I couldn’t say no!”
Kwazi “Hurricane” Jahde: Originally from South Africa, Jahde is from Alpharetta and is currently an Event Planner. At the press conference she said this about why she loves boxing, “I was sold on the sport when I saw Bloodsport with Jean-Claude Van Damme.”
Anthony “Black Simba” Wakasiaka: A media manager, Wakasiaka is originally from Kenya. He’s 26 years old and says he has previous experience in boxing and kickboxing. When asked what to expect from CFN 12, “Black Simba” said “everybody goes up but somebody comes down on Oct 21.”
Jeremy “The Hurricane” Jones: Jones is a 31 year old Risk Analyst. From Duluth, “The Hurricane” says this about his Oct 21 foe, “he’s gonna be a tough opponent.”
Barak Bright: Bright is an Exhibit Consultant based out of Marietta. He’s 29 years old and will be fighting in the heavyweight division. “Terri charmed me into it,” Bright says about how he got involved with CFN. “Lots of punches. Knock some one out or get knocked out” is how Bright described what will happen in his fight against Jordan Chappman.
Jordan Chappman: Chappman was unable to attend the press conference. AtlantaFights.com will try to get more information on him shortly. He’ll be fighting at heavyweight and will be taking on Barak Bright.
Manny Barajas: Raised in Woodstock, Barajas was born in Tijuana, Mexico. The 26 year old is a Software Engineer. He came from a family of boxers and that is what inspired him to get into the sport. “My grandfather was a boxer in Mexico and that really inspired me to pursue the sport of boxing,” said Barajas.
“Stone Cold” Stephen Norris: Norris is based out of Atlanta and is currently in Hospitality Sales. He was inspired to be a boxer by Roy Jones Jr. When asked about how tall his opponent (Barajas) was, The 29 year old “Stone Cold” said this, “the bigger they are the harder they fall.”
Sammy “The Bull” Herman: “The Bull” is 40 years old and currently lives in Atlanta. Herman, who’s occupation is in Sales, said this about boxing, “I love the sweet science. This is my retirement bout.”
Niko “Spartan” Poulopoulos: “Spartan” is originally from Athens, Greece and is currently a Jet Engine Tech. The 43 year old said this about CFN, “It’s an amateur fight with the look and feel of a world-class event, and a great cause!”
Gary “The Million Dollar Man Continental G Richard” McGowan: A Software Developer originally from Brooklyn, NY, McGowan says this about fighting, “I always wanted to box. I like the big crowds.” The 36 year old fights out of Buckhead Fight Club.
Hudson “Lights Out” Woody: Woody is currently a Sales Rep at FAE. The 21 year old is based out of Atlanta. “What got me into boxing was god himself,” said “Lights Out” regarding his inspiration to step into the ring. “I couldn’t be more happy to be in this event,” Woody said of CFN 12.
Main Event: V. Anthony Johnson vs. TBD
Co-Main Event: Roberto “Chino” Escalante vs TBD
Co-Main Event: “Vicious” Victor Ramirez vs Greame “The Kitchen” Wicks
“Money” Mike Green vs Jasmin Hodivic
Brian “Battalion Stallion” Mize vs Troy “Mudd Waters” Von Otnott
Gregg “The Brick” Brickman vs Ed “The Rainmaker” McAlexander
Geoffrey “Rock em” Robbins vs “Austell” Todd Sentell
Ashton “Smashed-In” Lane vs Kwazi “Hurricane” Jahde
Anthony “Black Simba” Wakasiaka vs Jeremy “The Hurricane” Jones
Barak Bright vs Jordan Chappman
Manny Barajas vs “Stone Cold” Stephen Norris
Sammy “The Bull” Herman vs Niko “Spartan” Poulopoulos
Gary “The Million Dollar Man Continental G Richard” McGowan vs Hudson “Lights Out” Woody