Julian Marquez was in no rush to return after his UFC 258 win over Maki Pitolo, but a short notice fight against Sam Alvey came up that Marquez jumped on.
Originally, Alvey was set to drop down to middleweight to face Zak Cummings, who is Marquez’s teammate. Unfortunately, Cummings was forced out of the bout and when he told the team, “The Cuban Missile Crisis” knew it was a good fight for him.
“Sam was a good stylistic matchup for me, so I jumped on it. I’m very happy we decided to jump on the opportunity. I’ve been watching Sam since I was a kid,” Marquez said to BJPENN.com. “I remember I watched Sam Alvey fight Tom Watson, and a couple of weeks later I met them. I grew up watching him. He is someone who has slept a lot of people, it was one of those fights where I couldn’t give him anything. That is exactly what I did. I couldn’t respect him inside the Octagon.”
Although Marquez was eager to share the Octagon with Sam Alvey, as they were about to walk out, Marquez started to feel a ton of nerves. He knew Alvey was dangerous, and given he grew up watching him, Marquez says he nearly threw up just minutes before he was set to make the walk to the cage.
“I’ll tell you this, I nearly threw up backstage just as I was about to walk out,” Marquez said. “My nerves were going until I stepped inside the Octagon and then my animal instincts took over. I’ve never been that nervous before, never.”
Despite the fact Julian Marquez was nervous prior to his fight with Sam Alvey, he didn’t show that in the Octagon. The 30-year-old had a ton of success in the fight. Then, in the second round, he had Alvey rocked but decided to go for a rear-naked choke.
Why Marquez didn’t continue to throw strikes and try and get a TKO finish was simple. He knows Alvey is super durable so he thought the submission was the best way to secure the finish.
“It’s my fight IQ man. Sam Alvey knows how to fight injured, hurt, and rocked. If you watch his last fight, he got dropped in the third and then rallied back and is still in the fight,” Marquez said. “I could’ve finished him with strikes if I wanted to but I was not trying to rush anything. I wasn’t going to force anything, so I went for the choke.”
With the win over Alvey, Julian Marquez is now on a two-fight winning streak since his return from injury. Although he has some hype behind his name, the 30-year-old doesn’t care who and when he fights next. Instead, he knows he is only getting better every day that passes.
“No one has gotten to see my full capabilities. They saw my heart and jiu-jitsu against Pitolo. The thing is, it is just showing people that I’m a problem on the feet and on the ground,” Marquez concluded. “It doesn’t matter where it puts me in the division because until I get a number beside my name, it doesn’t do anything other than reminding everyone I’m here. I’m ready for it all, I’m ready to take on whoever. I’m just getting better but I do have to let my body heal, we will see what is next.”
Who do you think Julian Marquez should fight next after his win over Sam Alvey?