Julian Marquez was making his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 258 on Saturday night.
Marquez was set for his first fight in 953 days after dealing with an injury. In the lead-up to the fight, “The Cuban Missile Crisis” said ring rust wouldn’t be a factor but admits his timing was a bit off early in the fight.
“I don’t feel I had ring rust. The striking was there but the thing is, the timing and the fight IQ is something that takes a bit of time,” Marquez said to BJPENN.com. “I was a bit behind on things that caused me to get taken down. I also had his back and I was too heavy and removed my arms and fell over top of him. The timing took a bit of time to get back but in that second round, I started to get it back.”
Although Julian Marquez started to get his timing back he lost both rounds. When he got back to his corner, a fired-up James Krause told him he needed a finish and hyped him up.
For Marquez, he says if Krause never had that speech, he’s uncertain if he would’ve been able to get the comeback win.
“There is an animal inside me that comes out when I fight. You saw it in the Phil Hawes and Darren Stewart fight, it tried to come out in the Alessio Di Chirico fight but my arm wouldn’t allow it,” Julian Marquez explained. “After the second round, when he hyped me up, he called me Julian Marquez. He never says my full name but he was saying my full name the entire fight. James was able to pull that animal outside me out as after the second round he talked to the animal inside me and as you saw it came out.”
After the win, Marquez is already back in the gym training and looking to get better. He knows he has to improve if he will become a champion down the line, so despite being off 31 months, he is in no hurry to get another fight.
“I am skill-building right now, I was back on practice on Monday to build my skills up. Look, I got the win but to me, I didn’t have the greatest performance and I have to go back to the drawing board,” Marquez concluded. “When the UFC contacts me for a fight that is a smart fight, I will take it. But, I am in no rush to get another fight, I need to skill build.”
Who do you think Julian Marquez should fight next?