Jack Marshman - Photo credit: Cage Warriors

UFC Middleweight Jack Marshman has taken the time to reflect on last month’s defeat in Canada, but already has plans to bounce back.

The Welsh Middleweight was controversially stopped at UFC Halifax against Thiago Santos after being caught by a spinning back kick. Despite the loss, which many felt was an early stoppage by the referee, the “Hammer” isn’t going to complain about the way in which the fight ended.

Speaking to MMA Plus at Saturday’s Cage Warriors Wales show, Marshman, who still bares the battle wounds from Canada said:

“Obviously I wasn’t happy with the stoppage, it was a nasty cut and that but, s*** happens. I’m never going to whinge about it, it’s one of those things. I’m an adult man, I’m not going to cry about a referee stopping a fight, he’s in there doing a job.”

The refereeing performance in Marshman’s fight wasn’t the only decision that came under the spotlight at UFC Halifax. In the main event, Derrick Lewis landed numerous unanswered strikes on Travis Browne before the referee – Mario Yamasaki, who did not officiate Marshman’s fight – intervened. Looking back at the contrasting refereeing decisions on the night, Marshman said:

“It isn’t like I prefer either one. You’ve got one end of the spectrum early in the card, one end of the spectrum at the end of the card, the referees aren’t going to win either way.

“I won’t ever criticize a referee for whatever their stoppage is, they’re in there doing a job. Sometimes I think they get it wrong, but sometimes I might be biased you know.

“All I will say is that I’ve been knocked out before, I’ve felt it, I know what it’s like. I wasn’t knocked out in this particular fight and I was still defending myself when I got stopped. However, I do see where the ref was coming from. He sees a dynamic kick land and jumped in. It looked a lethal kick, but it didn’t actually do that much damage, it did more damage superficially rather than like knocking me out.

“But I just accept it, and like I said, I’m an adult, I’m not going to cry over it.”

It may only be two weeks after his previous fight, but Marshman is looking forward, and not back, as he looks to get back to winning ways. To do so, he’s radically changing things up, and he is already targeting a return to the UFC octagon, saying:

“(Since the Santos fight) All I’ve done is bounce back. I’m heading out to Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Thursday, so I’m going to be training out there for a while, and I’m just going to improve and get better.

“I’ll be gunning for a slot on the Sweden card in May maybe.”

Marshman was in attendance at Saturday’s Cage Warriors show in Newport, the very same promotion in which he last competed in, prior to signing with the UFC last November. Here, he was part of the Tillery Combat MMA coaching team, whose fighters went 3-3 on the night. Notably, Featherweight prospect Jack Shore impressed in his co-main event win over Alexandros Gerolimatos. Giving his thoughts on Shore’s performance, and the show as a whole, Marshman said:

“Yeah it was brilliant. I thought there were some top fights on the amateur undercard and then topped off with some top pros from Tillery combat, you know, it made it a good exciting show.

“The atmosphere, that they always sell out in here was amazing, so yeah, I enjoyed it.

He’s (Jack Shore) one of my top training partners in the gym, he’s on a level already. He’s just getting better and better and he’s 21 years old so it’s, the sky is literally the limit for him.”

Looking forward, Marshman is aware that as the first Welsh fighter to be signed by the UFC, he’s set the standard for the next crop of fighter to make the jump. Brett Johns and John Phillips have joined him since then, but he notes the potential for further fighters from Wales to join, now that the gates have opened.

“Now there’s Welsh fighters in the UFC, it’s not just a dream for these guys. When I was starting out, there were no Welsh guys in the UFC, but now I’ve made it there, it’s sort of realistic.

“Fingers crossed, we can keep building, and the guys in the gym are enjoying it and getting better.”