Fans tuning in to WSOF 1 this past weekend caught the debut of Tyrone Spong, an otherworldly kickboxer who has decided to give Mixed Martial Arts a go. Spong’s impact was immediate, both figuratively and literally, as the 27-year old lived up to the hype as one of the sport’s most intriguing prospects by blasting opponent Travis Bartlett in the opening round.

However, some fans were left wondering about the 7-3 Bartlett’s qualifications for the job considering his flabby appearance and lack of offense. In light of the criticism, WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz has come forward to explain Bartlett was not the company’s first choice but was who they came up with after a number of competitors the organization approached declined the opportunity to face Spong.

In a conversation with MMAWeekly, Abdel-Aziz confirmed Houston Alexander was among a group of seven fighters who passed on the fight.

Alexander made a name for himself in the UFC after knockout out Keith Jardine in less than a minute. Since then Alexander has struggled to find consistent success in the cage, experiencing a career resurgence of sorts with four straight wins between 2010-2011 before dropping a trio of consecutive tilts in his most recent appearances.