It’s fair to say that Sam Alvey (33-12) loves his job. The 33-year-old has competed 17 times for the UFC and enters the octagon with a smile on his face every time.
The American last competed in February, where he was stopped by rising contender Jim Crute in Australia. This marked his second TKO loss in a row, however, Alvey remains optimistic heading into his July 20 matchup against Klidson Abreu at UFC San Antonio.
“It’s business as usual,” Alvey told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko.
“Every fight’s just as important as the one before. I’m down two garbage stoppages but I’m really over that, I’m onto the next thing. My next fight is going to happen and I’m just looking forward to that. I get to share the octagon with another world-class athlete.”
His opponent, Klidson Abreu, made his UFC debut in February, where he filled in on short notice against fellow highly touted prospect Magomed Ankalaev. Despite walking away without victory his performance was impressive and earned the jiu-jitsu ace another shot in the promotion.
Abreu has experience being a champion, having held the light heavyweight crown in BRAVE CF. On top of this, the Brazilian handed UFC sensation Johnny Walker his second-ever career defeat.
Alvey broke down his scheduled bout with the deadly finisher.
“He’s a stud. He’s got big hands, he’d a big dude [and has] good jiu-jitsu – he doesn’t have a lot of flaws.”
The UFC Fight Night card will be headlined by welterweight contenders Rafael Dos Anjos and Leon Edwards, with the winner putting themselves in a good position for a top-five opponent next.
San Antonio, Texas, which is the location of the card, is the closest Alvey has ever fought to home, and is something he believes is a huge advantage for him.
“This is the closest to home I’ve ever fought, at least in the UFC. This will be my 18th fight with the UFC and I believe 12 or 14 of them have been overseas or over borders. I really am lucky to get to travel so much, but I’m really looking forward to that hometown advantage against the Brazilian. The crowd’s going to 100% be in my corner: before I win, after I win and during my win.”
The 33-year-old is someone the UFC can turn to on a week’s notice to fill in, so having the chance to prepare for weeks on end is refreshing, and may well be the key to success come July 20.
“I love the short notice fights but they’ve kind of hit me in the ass a time or two,” said Alvey, reflecting on previous performances. “So this feels good [as] I got to plan my whole camp, my diet was perfect, my coaching was perfect [and] I had training partners every day. It’s been a really good camp, and I’m very excited to go out there and show them what I’ve got.”
He has trained with some of the very best fighters MMA has to offer, and currently trains out of UFC legend Dan Henderson’s gym, which has allowed him to spar and learn off of the highest caliber of competition.
Alvey had the opportunity to help newly crowned Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. prepare for his grueling five-round affair with Gegard Mousasi, and can see the effects working with such a high-level fighter has had on his overall game. He spoke about how they crossed paths in the first place and reviewed his championship-winning performance.
“Rafael senior came to the gym, gave a seminar and met me, and we hit it off. He recommended me highly to his son, so when the fight camp came about he asked me if I’d come out and give them a hand. I said ‘of course’ – you only get to work with and roll with a guy of that caliber and talent once in a while.”
“He’s got a heart of a lion [and] there’s no quit in him. He has done everything the right way his entire career in both jiu-jitsu and MMA. So it does not surprise me that when push came to shove, he dug down, dug deep and got the win.”
“It’s really improved my game. Just having the confidence and knowing that what he’s showing you is the right technique.”
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.