The Insider w/ “Smilin” Sam Alvey
Posted: June 14th, 2013
By Dane Ford, MMAInsider.net
I recently had a talk with MFC Middleweight contender “Smilin” Sam Alvey about how he got started in MMA, his stay on TUF, Dan Henderson, and the Maximum Fighting Championship.
Let’s start things off by having you talk a little about how you wound up competing in mixed martial arts as a professional.
When MMA was first coming about, I had no idea about it. I started off learning weapons until one day I heard you could fight with just your fists in a cage, and I said, “I can do that.”, I learned I wasn’t nearly as tough as I thought I was. I almost knocked him out, but ended up getting knocked out. You know what they say: almost is only good enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. From that point on, I started training, went on an 11 fight win streak, and turned pro somewhere along the line.
Let’s talk about that win streak. You started your career going 11-1 on your local circuit. That’s a very impressive accomplishment. What would you attribute that early success to?
I’ve worked hard. My early success was because this was something I decided I was going to do. I started a gym in the process so I had someone to train with. It (the win streak) kept going for me. Every time I won, I got more confident and it was just great.
So, you decided this was something that you wanted to do and just went at it full force?
Absolutely, and I didn’t know I could make a career out of it. It was something where I could see how tough I am every time I stepped in the cage. I fought a lot in the early days; one year I fought about 12 times. It was every month back to back. I was beat up from January, but it was a great year and I truly enjoyed it.
You went on a sort of world tour fighting in Mexico, Canada, and New Zealand. The fight in New Zealand is one you’ve been critical about, as you don’t feel you should have lost that one. Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn’t even have an athletic commission for you to contest the loss to. Tell us a little about that fight to give us, and our readers, some insight into what exactly happened there.
New Zealand was a mistake. We found the fight and decided to do it. It was a 205 fight, I like fighting at 205, and it would be fun to get a trip to New Zealand. The guy had a good record, so it would look good on my win sheet. When we got there they treated us great and everything seemed to be on the up and up. Then we got to the fight and the promoter was the referee. The fight was stopped during one round because his corner was spread around the octagon and had to be corralled back to one side. He ended up poking me in the eye twice and kicking me in the groin once, which he was deducted one point for.
I’m not sure if the judges were related to him, or something *laughs* but it came back as a unanimous decision. All I had to do was win one round and it would have been a draw with that one point. I’d never been mad after a fight, but I was mad after this one since I had won all three rounds and the fight. Anyone with eyes could see that. Parts of his hometown crowd were booing the decision, so we went backstage and talked to the promoter to let him know it wasn’t right and he knew it. He told us he couldn’t change it, but he could send the video to three judges from around the world that have nothing to do with us or the promotion and get it changed that way.
Before we made it home, we were in Hawaii for a layover. He was online saying they were not taking a point away from the guy anymore because they re-watched the footage and said that there was no eye poke. He waited until we were out of earshot and immediately went screaming to the fans that it was legitimate and nothing happened. That again made us upset, but there wasn’t anyone who could do anything. Now I’ve got an asterisk next to that loss, so now before a fight when they announce my record, you’ll see me hold my fingers up showing how many losses I actually have.
After that fight you recorded 2 first round technical knock out stoppage wins and were then invited to be on TUF-Team Carwin vs Team Nelson. You won your way into the house with a nice knock out of Leo Kuntz and were selected as Shane’s first pick overall. You were competing for the first time as a Welterweight for the show and spoken about how the weight cut was so draining due to cutting 40 lbs in 29 days. Do you feel the cut was a factor in that loss?
The cut was bad but it was doing it 2 weeks in a row that got me. I made weight the first time at 170, and it was like the walls were coming in. The next day I weighed in again at almost 200lbs. Nearly 30lbs overnight I put back on, and six days later I made the cut again. The plan was to get rid of the weight first, then get it back down more naturally for the last two fights. I woke up on the morning of the fight tired; my body was hurting. All day I tried to get myself back up; I was eating everything I should be eating and drinking as much as I could but it didn’t work. I got in the cage and you saw the result. I was flat-footed; I don’t think I punched once during the fight. I got kicked a couple of times and got back up, it was bad. Joey did everything he should have, I’m not trying to take anything from him. He went out there and kicked me upside my head a couple times. (more…)