Former TUF contestant preparing to stay in the UFC with win over Brandon Vera
Eliot Marshall is well aware that his ongoing status as a UFC fighter could be challenged at UFC 137. His opponent, Brandon Vera, has also seen his fair share of trouble. The winner of their match-up next Saturday could very well decide who remains on the roster and who is sent packing.
“Pressure is a mind set. Every fight brings pressure. Tell me what fight anyone wants to lose? Do you want to lose when you get your shot at a title. Do you want to lose before that? You never want to lose, so every fight brings pressure.”
After losing to Vladimir Matyushenko in March 2010, Marshall was ultimately dropped from the UFC roster. Determined to make his way back, he hit the regional circuit and collected three consecutive victories. Despite a tough return against Luiz Cane at UFC 128, Marshall plans on sticking this time around.
“It’s like playing in the NFL. No one wants to play in the CFL or in a European Football League. Everyone wants to play in the NFL. The UFC is the NFL of mixed martial arts.
“My preparation for this fight has gone great. I’ve had a great camp and it’s probably been the best camp I’ve ever had. I’m really excited. We are going to get it this fight, man. I’m going out there to let it go and have some fun. It’s going to be a good fight. I’m going to let the fight run its course.
“I’m going to try to mix it up. You have to let the fight come to you a little bit and I did poorly at this in my last fight. I feel like I can hang everywhere with everybody. I’m being respectful, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter where the fight goes. I’ll let the fight take its course and we’ll go from there.”
Vera has also experienced an emotional roller coaster over the past year. After suffering a third consecutive loss at the hands of Thiago Silva, Vera was cut from the UFC. But in the weeks that followed it was discovered Silva had tampered with the urine sample for his post-fight drug test. Silva was suspended and Vera was re-instated. Marshall is aware of the emotional ups and downs that come with the fight game, but he doesn’t concern himself with anything that doesn’t happen inside of the Octagon.
“Things that happen outside of the cage for my opponent isn’t something I pay attention to. You never know what is happening, so all I can look at is how he fights. I sit down with my coaches and we assess that and go from there. I can’t really wonder if he and his wife are getting along or if his mom yelled at him on the morning of the fight. There isn’t anything I can do about that so I focus on what I can control.”