Bellator 125’s Doug Marshall: ‘My job is to knock the #*&@ out of people’

Bellator-89When it comes to cagefighting, Doug Marshall doesn’t mince words. The former WEC light heavyweight champion has found a second wind for his career inside the Bellator career ever since dropping down to middleweight and he’s been a force to reckon with against some of the best the promotion has had to offer. His brutal knockouts of contenders Andreas Spang and Brett Cooper are a testament to his power, and “The Rhino” knows full well that anyone who eats a clean shot from him has a serious chance of going to sleep. The California native is not afraid to go out on his shield either as evident by his stoppage loss to current Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko this past November. That’ll be the case tonight (Sept. 19, 2014) when he steps into the cage opposite recent Bellator free agent signing Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 125 in a bout many are expecting to be one of the more exciting slugfests the promotion has ever put on. Marshall understands that with the elimination of Bellator’s tournament format, an impressive showing in the main event could mean another chance at getting a belt put around his waist. The Elite Team Visalia fighter spoke with about his thoughts on Manhoef, his gameplan for the fight and the consequences of an  exciting victory in this exclusive interview. Check it out: Brian Hemminger: What were your thoughts when Bellator signed Melvin Manhoef? Doug Marshall: I thought it was awesome. He has a style that’s very close to mine. He has a lot of muay Thai experience and I’ve been wanting to have a muay Thai fight so by default I think I’m going to get my chance at a Thai fight. Brian Hemminger: People looking at this fight against Melvin Manhoef, some view it as potentially the biggest slugfest in Bellator history. Is that how you view it too? How do you perceive the bout? Doug Marshall: That’s exactly how I look at the fight. To me, this is a dream come true. Both of us are heavy hitters who are looking to go in there and put the other man down. I think that’s what the crowd wants. If that’s what the fans want to see, then I’m more than happy to give it to them. Brian Hemminger: Manhoef does have some susceptibility to the ground game via wrestling and submissions. That’s how many people have defeated him in the past. Many fighters don’t want to go toe-to-toe with him because of his power. Do you think it would be easier if you circumvented the danger by going to the ground? Doug Marshall: You know what? I don’t have a problem standing and banging it out. That’s my style. I’ve been doing that style for 10 years and I don’t plan on changing it for him or anybody else. My style is exciting. His style is exciting. That’s going to lead to a violent fight. Brian Hemminger: The other big change with Bellator is that there’s no more tournaments. Do you feel like if you take care of business and give the fans a fight they want to see, that you’re right back there in the title picture? Doug Marshall: I definitely think so. That’s been weighing on my mind a little bit. I’m not getting any younger and I definitely want that middleweight gold. This is a marquee match-up and I think definitely after this fight I’d be well-deserving of a middleweight title fight. Brian Hemminger: Brian Rogers is competing in the co-main event and he recently said he’s got his eye on this headlining bout and wants to take on the winner of the main event if he wins as well. Would you be okay with taking a detour with Rogers or do you want to go straight for the belt if you pull out a win against Manhoef? Doug Marshall: You know what? I fight whoever they put in front of me. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m there to do my job and my job is to knock the fuck out of people. So whoever they put in front of me, I’m gonna do my job. Brian Hemminger: When you’re looking at this fight and you’re visualizing success, what do you picture? Doug Marshall: I’m picturing one bull and one rhino going after it and just banging it out. I can tell you this right now. This right hand? When this mother fucker finds it’s mark, it doesn’t matter who it is, they’re going to sleep. Sometime during this 15 minutes, this right hand is going to find it’s mark and Melvin Manhoef is gonna find the canvas. Doug would like to thank Elite Team Visalia for always having his back and keeping him ground. He’d also like to thank Danero Sports Marketing, his sponsor VaporFi and his manager Robert who’s been with him since the WEC days. You can follow him on twitter @DougTheRhino.

Written by Brian Hemminger

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