Three months ago Jack Marshman defeated a Canadian in Glasgow and was, for one night only, adopted by the Scottish fans as one of their own. On a night of Scottish disappointment, the audience grabbed on to whatever success they could and the Welshman’s thrilling decision win over Ryan Janes was about as good as it would get. It’s why they claimed him and wouldn’t let go. It’s why they made him feel loved.
Marshman can expect an altogether different reception on October 28, the night he attempts to defeat a Brazilian in Brazil and then get home in one piece. One extreme to the other, Marshman’s upcoming middleweight battle with Antônio Carlos Júnior at UFC Fight Night 119 offers him the chance to enter a fight with low expectations, to a chorus of boos, and eventually win over all who wish for his downfall. For Marshman, though, it’s simply another box ticked.
“It’s just another one off the bucket list – fighting a Brazilian in Brazil in front of a mad crowd booing,” he told Fighters Only editor Michael Owens. “That’s not a drama for me. It’s will be fun. No hesitation. I always say I’d fight in a back garden, so I might as well go to Brazil! It doesn’t bother me.”
In preparation for the fight Marshman, 22-6, has been spending plenty of time sparring amateur and professional boxers. These include Cody Davis, a boxer on the Team GB squad, as well as Craig Kennedy, an undefeated cruiserweight and current IBF international champion.
By the time Marshman gets to Brazil he will be more than ready for whatever his Brazilian opponent brings to the table.
“There’s not much you can give away with this fight,” Marshman said. “He’s a very high level jiu-jitsu fighter, so he’s going to want it on the floor. He’s a big guy, which is obviously a problem, but I wouldn’t say his takedowns are great and I’m really working on my wrestling. Everyone knows what I’m looking to do and everyone knows what he’s looking to do.”
As for the future, what Marshman, 27, would ideally like to do is accept the challenge of facing a top ten-ranked opponent and then crack the top ten himself. The risk-taker in him, that part of him that feels no way about venturing to Brazil to take down one of their own, would relish the opportunity.
“I’m 2-1, I’ve had good fights, I’ve put on good shows and I think that’s why they’ve put this match together,” he said. “I’d fight a top-10 guy, that’s what I’m like, but I think with him having a bit of a name it’s going to propel me. Just like when I fought Magnus (Cedenblad), before I even got offered Magnus, I watched him fight and always thought, I can beat that guy. I knew I could land shots on him. It went exactly how it played out in my head.
“I’ve had the same thing watching Antônio Carlos. He’s a big guy with good jiu-jitsu, but I think I can knock him out. I think I can make him walk on to shots. I can see it being another good win for me.”