Heading into 2016, former Ultimate Fighter 12 cast member Marc Stevens was riding high on a four-fight winning streak. Looking to maintain his momentum, Stevens opted to move down a weight class for a fight and ended up taking his first loss in nearly two years.
“I got some calls for some last-minute UFC stuff, but nothing seemed to land, so I went back down to 155-pounds and took a tough fight and ended up losing a decision (to Billy Quarantillo),” Stevens told MMAWeekly.com.
Not only did Stevens lose his momentum, but the fight cost him nearly the remainder of the year due to damage he took in the bout.
“I got pretty banged up in the fight,” said Stevens. “I broke a couple ribs. I had a broken thumb. I broke a bone in my foot. So I took a lot of time after that fight to recoup and get back into my other career as a union pipe fitter and started building that up again.”
For as disappointingly as he started off 2016, Stevens was able to return to MMA and close out the year with a solid win over Victor Reyna in October.
“I was really just waiting for the right opportunity, and I was taking my time with healing and training,” Stevens said. “Combate made me a great offer to take a fight about an hour away from where I live and my gym, so I went up there and put on a great show – a dominating performance – and finished off the year great.”
Stevens (21-10) will seek to keep on the winning track when he has his first bout of 2017 against Robert Turnquest (6-3) in a main card 170-pound bout at Titan FC 44 on Friday in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
“I respect Turnquest a lot,” said Stevens. “He’s a lot better than his record shows. He’s a tough dude and is hard to put away, but that’s what I’m going to do – put him away. I always ty to go in to finish fights, but it’s not always that easy to go in and finish every opponent, so sometimes you have to go in and grind them out. A win’s a win, but on May 19, I’m going for the finish.”
With over 30 fights to his credit in the over 10 years he’s been fighting, Stevens still feels just as much desire to compete as he ever has. Though he is set outside the cage with his businesses, he still has the same goals he had when he first started out: go to the UFC and claim a title.
“I’ve been doing this stuff a long time,” Stevens said. “I’ve had some injuries and some setbacks, but I still feel healthy. I still feel the drive every day. Looking back when I was 19 years old, I just loved to fight and didn’t think I’d be able to make any money or sustain a living off it. It has led me to a lot of great places, so I’m pretty happy with the way it’s gone so far.
“I’m still that young kid that wants that shot, and at the end of the day I have accomplished a lot and I do have a lot going on, I don’t need to get to the UFC to pay my bills, but at the same time that’s what we all want. We want to be in the UFC and all want to be world champion.”