Julian Marquez credits return to Missouri for win in long-awaited return

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Matt Erickson and Ken Hathaway
·3 min read
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LAS VEGAS – Julian Marquez beat Maki Pitolo with a third-round submission Saturday to open up the main card at UFC 258 in Las Vegas.

Take a look inside the fight with Marquez, who returned from a layoff of about two and a half years for his first win since December 2017.

Julian Marquez vs. Maki Pitolo

Result: Julian Marquez def. Maki Pitolo via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 3, 4:17 Updated records: Marquez (8-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Pitolo (13-8 MMA, 1-4 UFC) Key stat: Marquez was down 20-18 on all three scorecards heading into the third round before pulling off his big rally submission.

Marquez on the fight's key moment

"This fight explained everything that happened on that road. Everybody is counting you down. People start letting go of you and your belief in coming back and returning. You’re taking a lot of hits. You’re coming up and down. There are some good moments, some bad moments, and at the end of it all, you came back with stunning fashion. You shocked the world and you probably got a performance bonus. That’s exactly how that happened." https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1360795270729072640

Marquez on moving back to Missouri

"I moved away about six years ago, came to Las Vegas, came searching for a team, came searching for a new style, for something that I was missing. And after six years of developing what I needed, my personal skills, growing up as a man, growing up as a human being, I started missing family. I started missing the things that actually mattered the most and we ended up having this pandemic. It was probably the worst situation in the world, but the best for me, because it brought me back home, closer to my family, and I went back with James Krause. "He took me under his wing. He let me live in his house for three months and helped me get down from 250 all the way down to 185, as you saw. It’s just something where blue-collar worker environment, we are the middle of the map, heart of America – that’s what we bring every time. That’s what we get from our teammates, and I bet you all of them right now are blowing up my phone, blowing up my coaches, because that’s what we are about. We show love, 'Show Me' state, and it’s all love, baby." https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1360794598071816192

Marquez on what he wants next

"I’m going to sit back and talk to Jason House with Iridium, James Krause – we’re going to figure something out. I’m uninjured right now. My adrenaline is flowing. I’m like, 'What the hell is going on?' And we’re just going to figure out what we’re going to do next. I do want to get back in there again. I do want to see my actual true form. I want to be able to feel the power that I have, the technique that I’ve developed. I don’t believe this was a good showing of it, but again, the layoff didn’t give me what I needed." To hear more from Marquez, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above. [vertical-gallery id=588402] [vertical-gallery id=588400]

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