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Francis Marshall
Dana White's Contender Series

Francis Marshall Aims To Be New Jersey’s Next Great UFC Fighter | UFC FIGHT PASS

After tearing through the east coast regional scene, Francis Marshall looks to take his career to the next level when he fights on Dana White’s Contender Series on August 2

New Jersey’s Francis Marshall touts a 5-0 professional record and is one of the hottest prospects coming into this year’s edition of Dana White’s Contender Series. A powerful grappler with a smothering top game, Marshall will be walking into the UFC APEX to face Connor Matthews in what he hopes to be his final fight before joining the UFC roster.

With four of his five professional wins coming via rear naked choke, there was an understandable hype train behind the featherweight prospect on the east coast regional circuit. Being that he trains under New Jersey mixed martial arts staple Kurt Pellegrino, many in the area expect Marshall to be the state’s next great UFC star.

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“I think a lot of it was coming up under Kurt Pellegrino, having him coach me, and then me kind of following the same path that he took,” Marshall said. “I get a lot of finishes typically, four of my five professional fights are finishes, so that might get people a little excited to watch me fight.”

While the 5-0 record with four finishes is certainly impressive, it’s relatively stress-free compared to a fight at the APEX with a contract on the line, but Marshall is unbothered by the moment.

Francis Marshall vs Connor Matthews Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 2
Francis Marshall vs Connor Matthews Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 2

“I’m trying to look at it through the perspective of a regular fight, where there’s no contract on the line at the end,” Marshall said. “I’m going in there, treating it as another fight, and if they give me a contract, then great, but if not, then I’ll fight and I’m sure I’ll be back there again.”

Given the structure of the Contender Series, many fighters go in there and deviate from their usual style in hopes that a little extra flash and excitement may be what pushes them over the edge.

However, Marshall plans to stay the course and use his signature powerful grappling and ground-and-pound to secure himself a UFC contract.

“Obviously it would be nice to go out there and show I can box,” Marshall said. “But, at the end of the day, it’s about going to win and finish whatever way works best. I feel like as long as it’s a quality finish it will get people excited.”

For those unfamiliar with Marshall, he best compares his fighting to that of Colby Covington, a rare, high-pressure style that, if executed correctly, can be more than effective inside the UFC.

“I can see a little bit of a Colby Covington comparison just because of the grappling and being able to hold guys down,” Marshall said. “I still have good punches and good boxing, but then I’m just able to dominate them in the wrestling aspect and finish them there or put on a dominant decision performance.”

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Even though Marshall sees his fighting as similar to Covington’s, that’s about where the comparisons stop, as Marshall is far from the trash talker that “Chaos” is.

“I try to have respect for the guys I fight; they don’t want to hear me talk bad about them or their family, or anything like that. I try to keep it respectful for the most part,” Marshall said.

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And although he’s all for mutual respect outside of the cage, that doesn’t hinder Francis Marshall’s confidence in his abilities once he gets in there.

“I think it’s going to be a close, tougher first round for both of us, maybe it’s more of a feeling out thing,” Marshall predicted. “So, I think it’s going to open up more in the second or third round and I’m going to get a second round finish.”