Day-to-day, the smell of the grease from the fryers and industrial grills can get to a person. Walking out into the fresh air becomes something of a luxury after spending all day inhaling the scent of fries and rushing around in the rapid-paced work environment that is the fast-food industry.

It would probably seem as if it were an obvious business move for a gym to open up next to a world-renowned (and often infamous) food chain. Alex White walked past that gym every day after clocking out. That gym was just an afterthought at first. But then something happened. White decided that there was more to life for him than cooking up burgers and fries or spouting off the clichéd line of “Would you like fries with that?”

“When I was working at McDonald’s, I was just working paycheck to paycheck,” White explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “One day I decided that I’d take a class at the gym next to McDonald’s. I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I really just wanted to see how it would go. I wanted to see what would happen if I pushed myself. I like the challenge of MMA and I like to fight tough opponents, and that’s what makes me keep on training. I believe this is the right path for me.

“[Working at McDonald’s] wasn’t the best for a strict diet [laughs]. It takes a lot of willpower to not be eating when you are around food all the time. MMA is all about dedication and discipline, and that’s why I really like training as well. You have to be completely dedicated to being the best fighter that you can be.”

Before he found the sport of mixed martial arts, White’s life wasn’t exactly headed in the right direction. Like most teenagers who are on the brink of adulthood, the idea of living a party lifestyle was difficult to pass up, and while others explored what higher education could bring to them, White, to his own detriment, took a completely different path.

“My life was basically going downhill,” he admitted. “I was drinking a lot and into drugs, and just not doing well. Training definitely helped me focus properly on something, and I just listened to that little voice inside my head that said to give it a go [laughs]. It definitely helped me turn my life around. One day I would like to go back and go to college, just to have that too, but right now my focus is on getting to the UFC.”

Once his training had begun, the adversity certainly didn’t stop for White. Like a lot of mixed martial artists who set out to chase their dreams of one day being showcased in the UFC, White has endured sacrifices. Yet, all the while he has taken everything in stride, true to his spirit as a professional fighter. He certainly hasn’t let any obstacles defeat him.

“There was a time one point in my life that I lived in a camper,” White revealed. “I was without a home, so I just did what I needed to do. It was about 10 [feet] by 10 [feet], and I lived in there for about four months until I found a place. It was a roof over my head, and I made it work.”

White is currently riding a professional winning streak of eight fights, with no losses on his record. His next bout takes place on Jan. 18 when he faces Adam Rider for Rumble Time MMA.

“He is a stand-up banger like me,” White said. “I just need to focus on doing whatever it takes to win. If it means I take him to the ground for the ground-and-pound, then that’s okay with me too. I just want to win and keep on winning.”

The future continues to look up for White, who flipped his last burger and fulfilled his last order some time ago. He is now entering his fourth year as a professional mixed martial artist. He has gone through a number of trials and tribulations throughout his young life, but now things can only continue to soar for the Missouri native. It would seem that the only “upsizing” that is left for White will be in terms of his career when he finally does get his shot with the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization.

Alex would like to thank Guardian Sports Group and Ed Kapp, Destruction MMA, Universal Fitness, his training partners and family. He would also like to thank Joe and Erica Worden, as well as his wife, Ashley. Follow White on Twitter: @Alex_White_145

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.