I like Doug Marshall. He’s the kind of guy who puts his money where his mouth is (e.g. entering MMA after going to a WEC event with his dad and saying that he could defeat one of the fighters) and makes no secrets as to what his plan for destruction is (forthcoming). This coming Friday on Spike, Marshall is set to face off in the main event against one of the scariest strikers to ever walk the earth in Melvin Manhoef; but Marshall really doesn’t care about that. What the 18-7 Marshall does care about, however, is what a win over the 28-11-1 Manhoef could do for his career as it pertains to a shot at the title.
Marshall is a KO machine with 12 of his pro wins coming from either KO or TKO, and because of that he was a winning product to Bellator’s former tournament format when he stopped Brett Cooper in the first round with one of those KO’s back in April of last year. He later went on to lose Alexander Shlemenko in November of 2013, and subsequently fail the post-fight drug test for a banned substance. But that was last year. We’re over it. This year Marshall is “comin’ in here hungry as a motherf-cker,” as he told MMAJunkie.com. And as far as Manhoef’s noted striking ability, Marshall isn’t so worried about that, either. He went on to tell MMAJunkie (in one of my new favorite MMA quotes of all time):
“You better call that guy and tell him, ‘Oh, hey, I hope you’re taking “The Rhino” seriously because he’s almost killed three of his last five opponents.’ Brother, there’s no holding back with me. If he was, like, a five-time jiu-jitsu world champion? Then yeah, I might have to brush up on some particulars. But I really, really believe this is a great matchup for me. We’ve both fought a lot of tough guys and we’ve both knocked out a lot of tough guys. I can tell you this: Someone’s getting knocked the f—k out in this fight.”
Now,we do hear stuff like that a lot in the pre-fight jibber jabber, but not with the conviction that Marshall has here. He speaks about knocking people out with the passion of a tent revival pastor saving souls.
Marshall does make an excellent point that Manhoef is not a jiu-jitsu master (three of Manhoef’s last four losses have come via a submission); so it’s safe to expect that Manhoef is looking to keep this one standing just as much as Marshall is. But what we can expect Friday night is fireworks. Why? Because Doug Marshall says so that’s why. Marshall continued to deliver more quotes of gold to MMAJunkie and went back to referring to himself in the third person and said “‘This guy is like the 4th of July balled into a human being.’ You never know what the f–k’s gonna happen with ‘The Rhino.’ I’m a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.” I love that sort of confidence—especially going in against someone with the credentials like Manhoef; and that’s why you should be rooting for Doug Marshall this weekend, too. Do I think he’s going to win? Meh, maybe. I can make a case for either, but that’s not the point. The point it Marshall is fired up about this fight, and you should be too.