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A burgeoning Ultimate Fighting Championship star is set to make a quick turnaround in April.
The UFC announced on Thursday from a press release and later on its Twitter page that Julian Marquez (8-2) will be stepping up to take on Sam Alvey (33-14-1, 1 NC) in just under a month. The two will square off at middleweight at UFC on ABC 2, which takes place on April 10 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Alvey was originally slated to face Zak Cummings, but the latter withdrew for currently undisclosed reasons and has been replaced by his Glory MMA & Fitness teammate Marquez.
Marquez made his triumphant return to form after over two and a half years away by submitting Maki Pitolo at UFC 258. Marquez endeared himself to fans after his performance by calling out pop star Miley Cyrus, asking her to be his valentine -- she later agreed, with a caveat. The win, his first since 2017, helped maintain his perfect finish rate at 100 percent. The anaconda choke coming at 4:17 of Round 3, it was the first time “The Cuban Missile Crisis” had ever recorded a finish beyond the second frame. Both of Marquez’ setbacks, including his prior defeat to Alessio Di Chirico in 2018, have come on the scorecards.
Alvey will be looking to right the ship after a rough five fights dating back to 2018, where he has not won. Four losses and a draw over the last few years have given “Smile’n Sam” little to smile about, as he suffered knockouts losses to Jimmy Crute and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira along the way. His most recent performance was scored a draw against Da Un Jung at UFC 254, where his performance split judges down the middle as one awarded a 10-8 Round 3 for Jung. The Team Quest fighter will be returning to middleweight for the first time since he faced Rashad Evans in 2017 – a later appearance against Ramazan Emeev saw Alvey miss weight and therefore took place at a 189-pound catchweight.
The second UFC on ABC event will go down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, with a high-stakes middleweight tilt pitting Darren Till against Marvin Vettori as the headliner. Drawing the co-main assignment will be another major divisional matchup, this time at featherweight between Sodiq Yusuff and Arnold Allen. The current 15-fight lineup will hold seven bouts on the main card, including Alvey vs. Marquez.