A perpetual underdog, Marquis Smith will once again look to play the spoiler when he faces unbeaten BJJ black belt Victor Altamirano at LFA 62.
Was your plan after your November TKO win to wait for a big opportunity?
“It’s always the plan to get bigger fights. Not too long after that fight we found out LFA was going to Albuquerque. I was like go back to back home fights. We (myself and my team) talked about it. We got in touch with everybody at LFA. We almost got on the card, but we didn’t… Due to the business side of things, we didn’t get a fight. And, then I was originally supposed to fight March 3 in San Antonio, TX. I had two opponents pull out from that fight. I’ve been in fights camp for two months now. After those two opponents pulled out, coach Pete (Spratt) messaged me and said, ‘hey LFA is a go.’ It was always the plan B, we were just waiting to see if they (Victor Altamirano and team) would take the fight if all fails. Against an undefeated opponent, what’s new being in the underdog? Everyone is like oh gosh an undefeated opponent, but to me it’s just another fight. I’ve literally fought though opposition every fight. I’m loving it.”
An undefeated opponent who is 4-0, with 3 wins by submission, how do you size up this match-up with Victor Altamirano?
“I size up this matchup as he’s gonna try to bum rush in and go for the takedown and try to play his game. He’s a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu up there in Dallas, Texas. He’s the home town guy. So, I’m trying my best to not let it go to the judges’ score cards, because you just never know. I feel that match-up wise, style-wise, the styles are perfect. I feel the fight really leans toward our (my team’s) style.”
Does it get tiresome being the perpetual underdog, being the opponent for the home town guy?
“You know, I’ve learned to embrace the underdog role. I have enough people and the right people around me to always keep me humble. No one’s going to let me get bigger then I am, with the people around me. But I enjoy being the underdog, because I train with a chip on my shoulder. Every run I’m running with a chip on my shoulder. I’m like you know what he’s running four miles today, I’m a run five (miles). If he’s hitting pads for fifteen minutes, I’m a go thirty minutes, no break. I’m just that competitive. The underdog role, I enjoy it. Not saying if I was the favorite in a fight that I’m not going to train just as hard, but the underdog role … I love grinding. And then everybody says who’s this kid the next day after the fight. I love that next day when people are like where’d he come from, what’s he doing, and we’re not letting our guy fight him.”
Did it come naturally embracing being the underdog, because I believe this is the fifth or sixth time in this position?
“At first I wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t embrace it. I was like why? When I was fighting in Dallas, Texas, a lot I’d be fighting home town guys and I’m like man… I can hear my little group of family that was there, and I’d know I had family watching at home, but it’s not the same knowing you have thousands of people cheering against you. The crowd never gets to me, but it’s just more I know that a crowd plays in the favor of judges’ score cards. I know that I’m the B side. Being on the B side it (the fight) is something you have to embrace, and it’s taken awhile. I finally got to the point where I just keep my mouth shut, go in there, do my job, and listen to my coaches.”
Full interview is at the top of the page.