A fight is a fight according to Francis Marshall, even if it is against someone with 51 more professional bouts than him.
Marshall makes his fourth professional appearance against 54-fight veteran Rey Trujillo at Gulf Coast MMA 11 in Biloxi, Mississippi on Saturday, Aug. 14. The 39-year-old Trujillo made his professional debut when Marshall was 11 years old.
Regardless of age and resume, Marshall expects a fight nonetheless.
“He [Trujillo] has a lot of experience, he’s obviously going to be my toughest opponent to date, but I’m ready for it,” Marshall said.
“He definitely looks good on the record because of his experience. It’s not like I’m fighting someone who is 0-3 or 1-2.”
Francis Marshall expects Rey Trujillo to stand
Marshall enters this bout a perfect 3-0, earning all three of his victories by rear-naked choke. A two-time New Jersey state qualifier in wrestling, the 22-year-old comes off as a grappler.
Knowing the ground credentials Trujillo also brings to the mat, Marshall expects the two to stand for most of the fight.
“I see it staying on the feet for a long time, more of a standup fight I’m hoping for, but if we wrestle, we wrestle. If we go to the ground, I’m ready for that more than anything else,” Marshall said. “I feel like a lot of people just think I’m a wrestler, I only have some jiu-jitsu, wrestling and grappling, but my hands have just been getting better.”
“Fight my fight”
Trujillo is not one to take his time with 17 of his 24 victories coming by finish. The Texas native is in the midst of a 10-fight losing streak, the longest of his career.
Yet to win since March 2018, Trujillo still fought some of the best competition on the regional scene. “The Chosen Warrior” has mixed it up with UFC talent like Daniel Pineda, Chas Skelly, Leonard Garcia, Kevin Aguillar and Brandon Davis, among many others.
Marshall is much earlier in his career, having fought opponents with a combined record of 7-5. Marshall is looking forward to seeing how he stacks up against a long-time veteran.
“I’m just going to fight my fight and what happens, happens,” Marshall said. “I’m not going to overwhelm myself with what he’s going to do and bring someone in for how he fights.”
A new look for Francis Marshall
Marshall will be making his featherweight debut against Trujillo. He was originally slated to make 145 pounds back in May, but met late-replacement Mike Taylor at a 150-pound catchweight instead. Marshall submitted Taylor in round one at Gulf Coast 10.
The New Jersey native fought at lightweight throughout his amateur and professional career until now.
“We wanted to feel comfortable in the beginning and try to work our way down,” Marshall said. “I’m just too small to be a 155 pounder, I think 145 suits me a lot better.”
“I just do what I have to do”
Fighting Trujillo on the main card is a clear step up for Marshall. With aspirations to enter the UFC octagon, fighting someone like Trujillo is something he expected to happen sooner or later.
Marshall plans to take the fight as it comes, impose his will and see what he’s got to offer Trujillo.
“I feel pretty well rounded, pretty good everywhere, but I don’t know what he’s going to bring.” Marshall said. “I just do what I have to do.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.