Marshall Vows to ‘Put the Pressure’ on Cane in UFC Return

By Mike Whitman Mar 18, 2011
One loss is all it took for Eliot Marshall to lose his spot.

After a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8, Marshall (Pictured) rattled off three straight Octagon victories. In his 2008 promotional debut, the light heavyweight bested former castmate Jules Bruchez at the season finale. Next, he outpointed another housemate in Vinny Magalhaes before squeaking by well-rounded wrestler Jason Brilz at UFC 109.

His next bout would mark his first UFC loss, as Marshall lost a split decision to former IFL light heavyweight king Vladimir Matyushenko. Shortly after the defeat, Marshall was released by the promotion. After racking up an Octagon record of 3-1, “The Fire” had been extinguished.

“I learned that, after the worst possible thing happens, life goes on. I was cut, and it sucked, but I moved on from it,” Marshall told Sherdog.com. “If I learned anything it’s to fight hard, go have fun and let the cards fall where they may.”

After losing his roster spot one year ago, Marshall jumped back into action that summer, running off three consecutive wins to close out 2010. Though the last victory in that stretch came for free at the now-infamous Nemesis Fighting “MMA Global Invasion” event in the Dominican Republic, Marshall still asserts that his time spent on the smaller circuit has been beneficial.

“I feel calm. I feel more mature and more confident in my skills and what I can do. I went to smaller shows and rounded my skills out against some tough guys,” said Marshall. “Some people might not think that’s much, but it’s everything. You have to go into the Octagon feeling confident and trusting in your abilities.”

Marshall now has a second chance to impress on the sport’s biggest stage, and he plans on seizing the moment. After Czech powerhouse Karlos Vemola was forced to withdraw from his UFC 128 bout with Brazilian striker Luis Artur Cane Jr., Marshall received the call for which he had been hoping.

With a four-fight deal now in place, the Grudge Training Center product is now fully focused on his bout with Cane, which goes down Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has asserted leading up to this fight that one of the two men would win in decisive fashion, and he plans on sticking by that claim.

“I’m gonna put the pressure on him instead of letting him put the pressure on me and back me up,” said Marshall. “He’s best when he’s coming forward and pressing the action, so I can’t let him do that.”

In regard to his UFC comeback on the whole, Marshall has a new philosophy when it comes to strategy and in-cage attitude.

“I’m going to push the fight a little more. I’m not going to avoid what my opponent is good at. A lot of fighters think, ‘This guy is a great grappler, so I’m going to keep it standing.’ I think that’s the wrong approach. You have to be able to go anywhere the fight goes and you have to dictate the terms of the fight. I’m going to take the initiative and dictate the fight so my opponent is always guessing, instead of the other way around.”
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