Evolution: The gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a complex form.
When “Smile’n” Sam Alvey (33-12-1) makes the walk to the Octagon this Saturday in San Antonio, TX, he’ll be fighting in his 46th professional fight. That’s the 3rd most bouts amongst fighters on the fight card and he’s only one shy of being tied for 2nd, on the card with Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell. He’ll also be making the famous walk to the octagon for the 18th time and his record inside of it is 10-7. At the same time though “Smile’n” Sam will be trying to avoid something that has never happened to him since becoming a fighter — losing 3 straight fights. For a fighter with so many fights (he’s tied with Cerrone for the most amount of fights in a 12-month span) and to never come across a 3 fight losing streak is a credit to not only those around him but to his ability to overcome adversity and adapt or should we say, EVOLVE.
@unknownmma_ caught me kicking in ways i didn’t know i could even kick. #4days and counting. . . . #ufc #texas #sanantonio #riverwalk #mma #justsmile #sheraton #espn #live #teamquest #buildingchampions
A post shared by Sam Alvey (@smilensam) on Jul 17, 2019 at 8:02am PDT
In a recent interview, with our very own Rory, “Smile’n” Sam let us all know that at the beginning of his career “for the first 4 years of my career I was self-taught” and he didn’t even know what the UFC was., much less who Dan Henderson was. It wasn’t till he moved out to Team Quest (California) that he started to put in work around coaches that “took my game to the next level”. Smile’n Sam also added in the interview that he added the nutrition help of “Lockhard and Leith”, which is widely known as one of the best in terms of helping fighters balance their health and nutrition, to optimize maximum performance.
At the beginning of Alvey’s’ career, his pro career really took off in his hometown of Wisconsin where he was well known in the fight scene and strongly affiliated with the “King of the Cage” Promotion. His fight career was off to a strong start as he posted an 11-1 pro record out of the gate spanning from 2008-2010.
Eventually, Bellator gained more awareness of Alvey in 2011 and signed him to take place in a middleweight tournament. Alvey was victorious in the first bout but eventually saw him take a loss via split decision, in the 2nd round of the tournament – thus being out of the tournament. As if history was trying to repeat itself, in 2012, Sam was featured on The Ultimate Fighter 16 where he dropped down to welterweight for the first time. Just like in the Bellator tournament he won his first fight but was eliminated by a loss in his second fight.
For Alvey though a minor setback has been nothing more than a set-up for a major comeback. After a disappointing loss at the Bellator middleweight tournament, he won 8 out of his next 10 fights (the 2 TUF fights were considered pro-exhibition fights so aren’t included in a fighters record) and finally found himself on the doorsteps of the UFC in August of 2014 as a Middleweight. He lost his debut in the promotion but responded by winning his next three fights including a victory over the well-known Daniel Kelly at UFC Fight Night 65. His Career at middleweight spanned from August 2014 up until October 2017 where he posted a division record of 8-5. With victories over Rashad Evans, Nate Marquardt, and Eric Spicely during that time span. Eventually, though Alvey went into this last middleweight fight in October of 2017 4lbs over the limit, was fined and lost.
“Daddy Shark” Sam Alvey shows the importance of fatherhood.
Immediately after that bout Smile’n Sam reached out to the UFC brass and wanted a quick turnaround, even wanted to be active more. So he was open to the possibility of moving up in weight if it meant getting more fights. The UFC took him up on his words and being the company-man that Alvey is, the UFC has rewarded him with his 4th straight Light Heavyweight fight. Since moving up a weight class, Alvey has broken even with 2 wins and losses apiece. His notable win was against Gian Villante, but since then he has lost 2 straight including a TKO loss to Antonio Nogueira and a questionable stoppage loss by Marc Goddard when he faced Jim Crute, this past February at UFC 234.
A post shared by Sam Alvey (@smilensam) on Jul 18, 2019 at 6:21am PDT
Alvey has been a UFC constant and is always eager to enter the octagon even if that means constantly traveling thousands of miles away from home or finding himself in another country across the world. Now with this Saturday’s fight being in Texas, Alvey basically feels as if he’s fighting in his backyard. This will be the closest from home (California) that Alvey has fought, since entering the UFC and as opposed to being the American entering enemy territory, he’ll be the one fighting on his native land with the Brazilian, Klidson Abreau, making the trip to the states. The roles will be reversed and I’m sure that’s something that gives Sam Alvey something to “smile” about.
Alvey showing his personality before UFC San Antonio.
When he makes the walk to the octagon, this Saturday, who knows what kind of crazy hairstyle Sam will be styling or what color of hair his wife has as she makes the walk to the octagon, to assist in cornering him. Every fight is different, just like every version of Sam Alvey has been different. From 2008 all the way to now, Sam has evolved to not only find ways to win but to stay relevant. Sam has juggled being an amazing family man, a fan favorite, and a man of the company. So this Saturday, with his back against the wall, be sure to tune in because something tells me that “Smile’n” Sam Alvey has something in store for us fight fans and lucky for us – the evolution of the smile will be televised.