Sam Alvey wasn’t oblivious to the facts heading into UFC Vegas 59.
The 36-year-old knew he was on borrowed time ahead of his fight against Michal Oleksiejczuk, which Alvey ultimately lost via first-round TKO. The setback pushed Alvey’s winless streak to nine straight bouts, giving him sole ownership of an unfortunate UFC record previously held by former two-division champion B.J. Penn. Penn.
Even for Alvey, the decision didn’t come as a surprise.
” I knew it would be over going into this fight,” Alvey stated on The MMA Hour speaking with a broken jaw. One, my bad luck in fighting has been a constant theme. So I thought that this was the end of my previous one.
” The UFC reached me to inform me that they had one fight left on their contract and would let them fight it. Let us know when you are ready. You’ve been a pleasure to work with. We’re not going to cut you. You’re just not going to probably be re-signed.’ I said, ‘OK, I can dig that, I can dig that.’ So I waited, I let it let my body heal up, we had my sixth baby. And shortly after that, I said ‘alright, let’s do it.'”
A 24-fight octagon veteran who signed with the UFC in 2014, Alvey admitted that in the back of his mind, he still held out a glimmer of hope heading into UFC Vegas 59 that a spectacular win could convince UFC officials to change their minds.
That obviously didn’t happen, but Alvey was still able to maintain a positive outlook throughout the ordeal. He knows the optics of the streak were worse than its realities.
” I realized [what was happening]. And it’s if you look at Tapology, it’s ugly,” Alvey said. “My last four years are ugly on Tapology. But I realized that if you watch those fights, there were a lot of fun fights in there. I had a lot of good battles. Some fights were close, but I felt I won. Other fights ended in defeat. But it was still an Fight of the Night performance. Some of my fights were great and I am proud to have won them.
“People on the internet want to say what they want to say, and that’s fine with me. You know what? A lot of those bad comments, there were twice as many people defending me. It’s just that the bad comments always stick out to a guy more. I’ll post something, I’ll get 4,000 likes — but that one comment saying ‘you suck’ is the comment you just keep reading over and over in your head. Once I had gotten over it, and once I saw the likes and the online love, I was much easier to understand why there were so few people who wanted to drag me down .”
Alvey addressed the exact question that many of his fans asked, as his winless streak grew into a record. Why was it so long?
According to Alvey, it had everything to do with how he approached his UFC career.
“I knew I was going to get cut [after] four separate fights, I just knew it. Alvey stated that I told them, “Alright, I’ve had a great run,” and gave me another chance. “Before my last fight, when I was not cut, they let me fight for my contract. They told me that Sam is one of the most easy people to work with .’
” They said that they had never turned down a fight. You have gone out of your way to help the UFC in some tough, tough situations, where other opponents fell out and you stepped up.’ And he said, ‘It’s very easy for fighters on fight week or fighters to show up to the P.I. and just be mad. That’s never been the case — every fight week, every time there was a fight, every time we had to deal with you, you helped, you brought the morale up with the staff. So we appreciate that.’ And then even said, ‘And we think you won a couple of the fights that you haven’t.’ So he just said, ‘All of that combined, we’re going to let you fight out your contract.'”
Now that Alvey is a free agent for the first time since 2014, he doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon. He explained on The MMA Hour that he fully intends to continue fighting and even angled for a potential boxing match with Jake Paul, citing a past run-in the two had at a sparring day, during which Paul apparently “was a douche.” Alvey also said his lifelong dream has always been to be a professional wrestler, so he hopes to pursue that as well moving forward.
Alvey, even though he has finished one chapter in his life, is eager to continue his journey.
“I’m going to start fighting less right now,” Alvey said. But as long as my health is good, it’s okay. I have broken my jaw, and other injuries, but I haven’t sustained any serious long-term damage. My brain is well taken care of. I’m really careful about that, I don’t take too much damage outside of the fights. Although I enjoy sparring, I am very good at knowing my partners. Everything is under my watch. People are aware of any potential changes I might be experiencing. Yes, there have been a lot fights. But, until recent, I hadn’t been beaten that hard.
“I enjoy this as long as it’s healthy. I have one of the few jobs in the world where I never have to wear shoes. As long as that is possible, I will .”