Jack Marshman with Cage Warriors title. Credit: CW and Dolly Clew.

Jack Marshman aims to override his ‘worst’ career performance when he travels to Brazilian territory to face Antônio Carlos Júnior at UFC Fight Night 119.

Marshman (22-6) journeys to São Paulo, Brazil on October 28 to compete in South America for the first time. 

The Welshman from Abertillery features on the undercard of UFC Fight Night 119, which is headlined by Brazilian legend Lyoto Machida against Derek Brunson.

Marshman, 27, makes his return after a unanimous decision win against Ryan Janes in July. 

It was this performance in Glasgow, which the Tillery Combat athlete dubbed as his worst to-date when speaking to MMAPlus during an appearance at Cage Warriors 86 last month. 

“I don’t feel like I learnt that much from that fight because, no excuses, I had loads of things going on at the time,” Marshman told MMAPlus. “But that was my worst performance to-date. Before I got in the UFC, whilst I’ve been in the UFC even, I haven’t fought that badly for a long time, I don’t think.

“I was having harder spars and performing better in the gym than I did on the night. I don’t take nothing away from him, or nothing away from the fight but it just wasn’t my best fight, it was probably one of my worst.”

The former Cage Warriors and BAMMA Lonsdale champion spent part of his preparation for Janes in Albuquerque, New Mexico at Jackson-Wink MMA, but even that couldn’t help the Welshman’s uninspired showing. 

“I can live with it because I still got the win but I’m the type of guy, I’d rather lose having a good fight, than win having a sh*t fight,” ended Marshman in critique of his last outing inside the Octagon. 

Marshman excited by the prospect of fighting in front of volatile Brazilian crowd

With the Janes fight now behind him, the former Lance Corporal of the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment takes on unranked middleweight, Carlos Júnior.

Carlos Júnior is most known for his winning stint on Brazil’s third season of The Ultimate Fighter. “Shoeface” – who trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida – is now on a three-fight win streak, including a second round rear-naked choke over Eric Spicely at UFC 212

Marshman will enter an expectedly charged environment inside the Ginásio do Ibirapuera, where the pro-Brazilian crowd will subject any opposing nationality to the thirsty chants of ‘uh vai morrer’, known in English as ‘you will die’.

It’s a daunting prospect, where even the boldest of fighters have shown visible unease. The 15/4 underdog, although, is unfazed.

“It’s a tick off the bucket list, I’ve always wanted to fight in Brazil,” said Marshman. “I’m actually looking forward to that part, the experience, the mad rush of them all booing and throwing stuff because they’re crazy, it’s just because they’re passionate fans the same as the Welsh fans are.”

With his reputable 2-1 record in the UFC and the aim to further that on Saturday night in São Paulo, Marshman depicts his ultimate dream of bringing the promotion to Wales.

The 27-year-old admits that the lack of a feasible sized arena hinders the probability, in spite of himself, Brett Johns and John Phillips being on the UFC roster, but with the promotion’s recent scaled-down return to the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, he remains hopeful.  

“I think we’ve got to build a medium-sized arena because you’ve got a 90,000 seater or an 8,000 seater and I don’t believe the UFC go lower than 12,000. But then again, I did hear they did two in Japan and they’re like 8,000 seaters, they done (sic) just like a Fight Night so they could easily use the Motorpoint for a Fight Night. 

“I think if they put a big name on the top of the card and filled it up with Welsh fighters, they would sell out easily, that’s the dream, that’s what I want but we’ll see.”