Jack Marshman will enter the T-Mobile Arena tonight with the opportunity to shut down the hype train that surrounds the 21-year-old Edmen Shahbazyan.
Speaking to us here at Pundit Arena ahead of his appearance at UFC 239 tonight, Marshman explained how the pieces have fallen together nicely during his camp, allowing him to go out there and attempt to make a statement on the biggest stage of his career to date.
“As far as camps go, it’s the best I’ve had. I feel fit, strong, and ready to go.
“A good win here boosts up my stock. That’s what I’ll be going for here, a good win, not just a win where I grind it out – I’m looking to put my name out there a bit.
“Of course it does spur me on, fighting in a massive arena in Las Vegas, but it’s all the same to me – I’m just working hard and getting ready to do what I know I can do.”
Last time around, Marshman contested an all-Welsh encounter with the hard-handed John Phillips – a fight that forced him to overcome some early adversity in order to get the win.
Reflecting on the fight now, which he won by split-decision, Marshman seemed to be content with his performance against a guy, in Phillips, who has the power to make your night a short one.
“Phillips brought exactly what he always brings. He’s heavy-handed, he moves forward and he tries to catch you. So I used a mature approach and outboxed him, got on the outside and picked him off, scored the points.
“I was very confident I won before the decision was announced.”
At UFC 239, the Welshman will come up against top-prospect Edmen Shahbazyan, a man who blasted his way through Charles Byrd last time around in 38 seconds at UFC 235 to move his unbeaten record to 9-0.
A lot of bookies have been quick to write Marshman off this time around but in his own eyes, very little of that matters when the octagon doors close.
“Yea, he’s 9-0. He’s young, 21, decent, but I think I’ve fought a lot, lot better calibre of opponent than he has so we’ll see.
“I’m older, far more experienced than him. Three times the amount of fights, three times the amount of fights in the UFC. Obviously, it will have an effect, but in a good way I think.
“It makes no difference, I never really look at [the bookies].
“To be honest, I have two different visions for the fight in my head. I see myself catching him early, he’s upright and I don’t think that he has been hit by a fighter by me before. That, or I grind him down, he gets quite tired.
“So it could be early or it could be late but I see it being a finish.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena