A career with the UFC is on the line for Team Quest fighter, “Smilen’” Sam Alvey (33-13) as he intends to redirect a three-fight skid in the UFC. Alvey returns to the octagon Saturday, March 28, in Columbus, Ohio against Khalil Rountree Jr. in a light heavyweight contest. The UFC veteran enters the most important fight of his UFC career with top-notch confidence. Alvey and Rountree kick-off the main card of UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik, which airs live nationally on ESPN. Prelims also air on ESPN starting at 4 PM with the main card beginning at 7 PM.
On a three-fight losing streak, Alvey declared immediately in his conversation with My MMA News the importance of winning this fight. He believes if he can’t pull off a victory against Rountree he’ll be released by the UFC. That being said, Alvey is confident he’ll have his hand raised at the end of the bout. Alvey didn’t give any excuses to his losses, he just knows he has to strike and connect more than he did in his last three bouts, two of which ended via TKO.
The Wisconsin native is still training with Team Quest in Portland, Oregon, the team he’s been with his entire career. When asked if he made major changes to compensate for the three straight losses, Alvey made it clear, “everything is pretty much the same,” – Except all his teammates sparring with him are using a southpaw stance to imitate Rountree.
Alvey acknowledged Rountree’s kickboxing skills, expecting him to attack his legs, as he openly admitted “I can’t check kicks. I’ve worked on it, but I just struggle with it.” The Team Quest fighter plans to put the pressure on Rountree, doubling up his strikes and landing his heavy-handed power. “Smilen’” Sam Alvey says his power will be the difference in this fight. He thinks Rountree’s chin won’t be able to withstand the abuse he’ll drop on him come March 28. The former collegiate wrestler has zero intention to bring the fight to the ground, as Alvey said “wrestling is boring,”. The UFC veteran is a “live by the sword, die by the sword” type of fighter.
Sam Alvey on COVID-19
“I’m a healthy athlete in my thirties. It’s a virus overhyped by the media, which is causing this panic.” said Sam Alvey, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) panic is sweeping across the country, Alvey isn’t the least bit worried about catching the virus. When asked by My MMA News about the potential of fighting in an empty arena in Columbus, Ohio, Alvey referenced his time on the Ultimate Fighter show, when he fought in a “creepily silent” venue, Which took place at the TUF Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A single hook is all it took inside the empty venue for Sam Alvey the first time to finish the fight. “I won’t be phased by the lack of fans there. Once you’re inside the cage it’s all business.” Alvey said.
The governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, forced all professional sports to play without fans before the professional leagues suspended their respective seasons. The UFC planned to continue as scheduled, but since the governor of Ohio action of limiting fans in attendance, UFC president, Dana White relocated the event to the UFC’s state of the art Apex complex in Las Vegas, NV.
Update: Nevada State athletic Commission suspended all events in the state, preventing Whites plans of moving all fights to the Apex.
“Fights will go on,” White says according to ESPN. White plans to keep everything as scheduled as he eyes new venues.
If the fight remains on, Sam Alvey predicts a first round knockout. Fans can expect a stand up battle between two hard hitting fighters. A fight that will most likely end in a finish.
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).