After a strong start to 2013, the year ended in disappointment for Bellator middleweight Doug “Rhino” Marshall.
Looking back on last year, Marshall acknowledges that he stumbled at the end, but is ready to pick up the pieces and move forward in 2014.
“I ran through the middleweight tournament, made some highlight reels and got my money and title shot,” Marshall told MMAWeekly.com. “I came up a little short in the title shot (against Alexander Shlemenko), but you win some and lose some, so here I am ready to kick it off and get another winning streak going.”
Rather than dwell on his loss to Shlemenko and his subsequent suspension for a positive drug test after the fight, Marshall has moved forward and feels that’s the best thing to do when faced with adversity.
“As a fighter, you have to have a short memory,” he said. “You’ve got to have a short memory about the wins so you don’t celebrate too much, and you’ve got to have a short memory about the losses so you don’t dwell on them.
“I’ve been doing this for well over 10 years and it is what it is. I went out there and did my thing – and I think 9 times out of 10 I beat Schlemenko – because I’m a better all-around fighter and striker than he is, but you can’t stop that liver shot.”
“If you’ve seen me fight, you know how I fight,” said Marshall. “That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am and I’m not changing my style for anyone. I want to go out there and be as exciting as possible and look for the kill.”
Marshall feels that Friday’s bout will allow him to impress upon the new Bellator management that he’s a fighter to be kept around.
“Scott Coker has been known to lean towards guys with my fighting style – he doesn’t like lay and pray guys – he likes guys who mix it up and put on a good show,” said Marshall. “No one has ever booed at any of my fights.
“I love to fight. If I wasn’t fighting professionally, I’d probably be in jail somewhere. I hate cutting weight, running up hills and all those things, but the day of the fight is my payment for the hard work. The check and everything that comes after is good – but my payment is getting to fight.”