by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
Reigning World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight champion Doug “Rhino” Marshall is making no bones about the fact that he is looking to put a stamp on the year 2007 by securing a knockout victory over upcoming opponent Ariel Gandulla.

The two will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the promotion’s final show of the year. Marshall has been doing well of late, and he believes that his run as champion is not going to end anytime soon.

When asked what being the champion means to him, Marshall said, “It means the world to me. I feel like I deserve to have that belt. I knocked out Lodune Sincaid, I took care of McElfresh in a timely fashion and I plan on wearing my belt for a long time to come. I like that gold around my waist, no doubt man.”

Marshall’s opponent is a relative unknown to the general mixed martial arts community, having competed mostly in smaller organizations, but any man who steps into a WEC cage these days is going to be a worthy adversary. Not to mention, Gandulla trains at American Top Team, one of the finest fight gyms in the world.

Marshall, however, is confident that his heavy hands coupled with his big-show fight experience will lead him to an impressive victory against the Cuban.

He said, “I don’t think he’s ever faced an opponent like me. This is the WEC, this isn’t some backyard promotion. He’s definitely going to know that he’s been in a fight on Dec. 12.”

In preparing for this fight, Marshall didn’t have the luxury of watching tape to pick up on his opponent’s tendencies; they simply don’t exist. This may have troubled some fighters and caused them to come into the fight apprehensive, but not Marshall, he considers it a positive.

“To tell you the truth,” he said, “I almost like it better when I can’t get video on a guy. It keeps me a lot sharper and it doesn’t give me anything like, ‘Oh, okay he does this.’ Then when I get in the cage and he’s not doing that, it will throw you off.”

When asked if there is anyone out there that could make him want to take the fight to the floor, Marshall stated, “I’ll stand and trade with anyone. A lot of people might take that as overconfidence or cocky – you can take it any way you want – but I like to stand.

“The crowd gets what they want. They get that devastating knockout. They get that punishment. People don’t watch the races (NASCAR) to see the cars go fast on a left hand turn, you watch NASCAR to see the crashes, the wrecks.”

Marshall hopes to create a spectacular crash of his own Wednesday night in the form of his opponent’s body hitting the floor hard following an exciting exchange on the feet. Marshall and Gandulla both claim that they want to keep this fight standing, so what does Marshall say that can fans expect to see when the two meet?

“You’re going to see fireworks, guaranteed. Especially if he wants to stand there and bang with me like he said he wanted to do. He’s from Cuba and he was born with boxing gloves in his hands…all right, let’s find out. The time to talk about it is done.”

Marshall continued, “You’re definitely going to see a ‘KD’ (knocked dead) one way or the other. I love putting on good performances, explosive performances, giving the crowd what they want to see and on the twelfth, they’re definitely going to get what they want to see.”