UPDATE: Following News10's report, Alexander admitted to the Marine Corps Times that he was not a trained sniper, never served as a Special Forces operative and was not deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or any active war theatre.
When contacted by News10 about the descrepancies between his Marine Corps Times quotes and his statements to News10 and other news organizations, Alexander reaffirmed that he served over 8 years as a Marine, but refused to comment publicly on any elements of the MCT story.
Ryan Yamamoto's story remains as originally published below.
Alexander lost his Camp Pendleton bout with Greg McIntyre by technical knockout in the second round.
SLIDESHOW: Marine-turned-MMA'er Ken Alexander
SACRAMENTO, CA - The only reminder of an eight-and-a-half year span of Ken Alexander's life lives in his mind, his heart -- and hangs from the rearview mirror of his SUV.
"That's my recon challenge coin," Alexander said proudly. "Basically every unit has their own coin."
Alexander served as a recon sniper in the U.S. Marine Corps until 2004, spending time in the Middle East and Africa on missions he says are still classified almost a decade later.
"You don't send special forces in for peacekeeping missions," said Alexander. "Basically, my job was to go in, and go undetected and if we got the 'green light,' we were pulling triggers."
It was after September 11, 2001 when Alexander gained most of his combat experience. But serving his country came with an emotional price.
"Those were my fondest and some of my worst memories," Alexander said. "I keep very, very little memorabilia of my Marine Corps life. I had a big bonfire when I was getting out. That is one way to cleanse your mind and soul, to watch it burn in flames."
Today, Alexander's fire burns in the cage as a mixed martial arts fighter. Before his deployments, he fought for two years and then began training in 2007 in Sacramento with former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber.
Alexander will once again reunite his two lives this Friday when he fights Greg McIntyre on the Pure Combat card at Camp Pendleton.
"I started at Camp Pendleton when I was 19 years old. That's where I grew up. That's where I became a man," said Alexander. "Now, to be able to go back there over a decade later and give back to the troops, there is no better feeling than that."
Close to 7,000 Marines are expected to attend the event. Alexander knows his background will make him a fan favorite.
"There is nothing louder than a fired-up, drunk Marine," said a smiling Alexander. "That place is going to be off the roof. You think ARCO Arena gets loud. Put 6,000 to 7,000 Marines together drinking beer, it is going to be outrageous."
NOTE: Ryan Yamamoto's on-air story contains clips from the film "The Hurt Locker." While the movie chronicles the work of Army EOD technicians and not recon Marines, the clips were used to help illustrate the job of a sniper.