Longtime UFC fighter ‘Smilin’ Sam Alvey has recently signed with the blossoming full contact Karate league, Karate Combat, and he’ll be making his promotional debut against Adam Ramos at KC 41 on September 16th in the Dominican Republic. Before Sam enters the Pit to negotiate a new ruleset, and novel 45-degree embankments, he caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss a bunch of stuff and things.
First off, Sam Alvey reveals the reason behind his constant smile, and then he goes on to explain the secret to his staying power that lead to 24 UFC appearances. He talks a bit about signing with Karate Combat, and how his contract is structured in a unique way where KC pay’s him triple his purse if he produces a knockout.
Since Sam is known more for his standup than anything else, and with him now shifting into a new frontier in combat sports, we naturally inquired about the roots of his striking. When asked about training specifically for the Pit embankments, Alvey answered by referencing the Ninja Turtles. By the end of the interview, Sam expresses his desire for gold, and how he wants to take on KC’s middleweight king, ‘Turbo’ Ross Levine. Check out the full interview below.
Sam Alvey interview video
Reason for the Sam Alvey smile
- With the world as crazy as it is, how do you stay smiling?
“Have you ever seen my wife? You should Google her. She’ll make you smile.”
- Haha much respect! She won that Top Model show, didn’t she?
“She did! She was America’s Next Top Model.”
- Well, you’ve got it going on. You’re fighting for money to support yourself, you have the model wife, I guess it makes sense as to why you’re smiling.
“The good Lord has blessed me!”
Secret to UFC staying power
- Speaking of being blessed, most guys are lucky to get one UFC fight, let alone a contract of four UFC bouts… let alone 24. Sam, you fought in the UFC 24-times, plus you had two TUF exhibitions. What’s the secret to having that sort of staying power and longevity in the UFC?
“You know, people tend to remember me as being a stand and bang kind of guy, and that’s really never been the kind of fighter I am. Outside of like my last three UFC fights, I didn’t get hit much. I’ve always been that defensive counter fighter. Now the last three I got tagged once or twice, but for most of my career, I did the hitting. I was the guy that landed that one shot power knockout.”
“And I really do think that was part of what made my staying power, you know, last so long. It was I didn’t get into these prolonged striking things. I could just find a way to connect that one time that was needed, and it ended the fights early.”
Signing with Karate Combat
- Im sure you could have gone a couple of different directions after the UFC, but you ultimately signed with Karate Combat. How did that relationship form?
“And I was so impressed with the promotion, the way it looked. It has this futuristic look to it. I know it’s all CGI or green screen, or whatever it is, but it just catches your eye. And then the pacing of the fights was just fast. You didn’t have to worry about the wrestling, or the cage, or any of that to slow it down. It was just the constant threat of a knockout coming, and I was just hooked immediately.”
- How many fights are on the contract?
“I’ve signed up for a couple fights, and honest to God, I wanna get their title. I wanna be their champion. They’ve just put on an incredible show. I have a ton of respect for all their champions.”
- You were known for you’re one-hitter quitters in the UFC, but what exactly is your striking background?
“Before I started fighting, I was doing Kobudo, which is weaponry, so I was using weapons and learning how to use nunchucks, and sais, and all that stuff. And I just had a blast doing it. And then I moved on from just that. I started MMA in the backroom of a Kenpo Karate studio, which is the same studio I was learning weapons. So I just started doing, okay we’re doing push kicks, we’re doing hook kicks, we’re doing these kicks. That that’s kind of how everything started.”
Ninja Turtles stuff off the Pit wall
- Plenty of gyms have rings or cages, or half cages, but not many have a pit or a 45-degree embankment. Are you training in a pit at all, or are you planning to figure it out as you go?
“I’ve tried to figure it out. I don’t know how to practice it… but isn’t that pit the coolest thing you’ve ever fought in? Personally, I’ve always preferred watching fights that happen in a ring. They’re easier to see than a cage. The cage is just, I mean, it’s a cage. It’s a lot of obstruction. The pit’s even easier than a ring, so I’m a huge fan of this pit. I think it’s the coolest thing, and it’s only a matter of time ‘till I do some Ninja Turtle stuff off the wall.”
KC paying 3x more for KO’s
- September 16th you’re making your Karate Combat debut against Adam Ramos at KC 41. Are we going to get a classic Sam Alvey knockout?
“You know what, I get paid more for a knockout, so I’m going for a knockout. They’re pay structure is a little different than anything I’ve ever done before. I get rewarded for, you know that one hitter quitter like you’re talking about. And so that is what I’m shooting for. If I get that, I make three times as much as I would have normally.”
Calling for the champ
- After KC 41, do you have plans on calling anyone out?
“Actually Turbo Ross [Levine], their middleweight champion, and I have already been bickering a little bit online, so we’re going to make that happen. We might meet at 205, so he’s not putting his belt on the line right away. But when I beat him at 205, maybe I’ll drop down to 85 and take his belt from him too.”
**The complete Sam Alvey video interview is towards the top of the page, and contains much more ‘Smilin’ Sam Alvey!
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