Sam Alvey has long been a popular figure in the UFC, but he enters UFC Vegas 47 on Saturday with his back against the wall, 0-6-1 in his last seven fights. While a few of those ended in close split decisions, “Smile’n” Sam knows what that record means.
“I do understand where I am in my career right now. I love the sport, I’m not crazy about the judges, but I have to go out there, bite down on my mouth guard, and try real hard to hit him,” Alvey (33-16-1, 1NC) told reporters during this week’s UFC Vegas 47 media day. “Or maybe try to take him down, if he’s watching.”
Despite the rather dire circumstances, Alvey still has his trademark smile and cheerful disposition. And he sang the praises of short notice opponent Brendan Allen, who saved the fight after Phil Hawes pulled out during Fight Week.
“I was listening to Brendan [Allen] talk, and he made me feel so old! ‘I’ve been watching this guy since—’ Man! I have been doing it for a minute,” Allen joked. But, he added, “two days ago, I got word Phil was out, 12, 13 hours ago I got word Brendan’s in. And before Phil, it was Ian [Heinisch]. It’s been like 10 fights since I’ve had the guy I was supposed to fight show up on fight day. So we were kind of expecting it, or willing to accept it, knowing it could happen.”
“I was ready to go home and see my kids. Not many people accept fights on a week’s notice,” Alvey continued. “Brendan is a king among men. I’m so happy he stepped up. I wish he was worse, so it would be a little easier fight for me, but it is what it is.”
Alvey had expected, once Hawes dropped out, that he might get a new fight a month or so out. “I thought that might happen, but I was already booking my ticket home to see my family.” Instead, he gets a light heavyweight match-up with a fellow middleweight.
Going up a division doesn’t bother Alvey. “I’d fight Ngannou if they needed me to,” he said, then added “I really hope they don’t need me to. You know me, it doesn’t matter what weight class.”
Sam Alvey faces Brendan Allen at UFC Vegas 47 this Saturday, February 5, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.