UFC Halifax: Wales' Jack Marshman ready for 'massive step up'

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Jack Marshman: Welshman relishing second outing in UFC

Jack Marshman says his fight with Brazil's Thiago Santos at UFC Halifax on Sunday, 19 February will be the biggest of his career.

It will be his 27th professional MMA bout and second in the UFC after his debut win over Sweden's Magnus Cedenblad in Belfast last November.

Marshman, 27, was the first Welshman to sign to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"This is a massive step up," he told BBC Wales Sport.

"The guy (Santos) was ranked in the top 15 in the world a couple of months ago. This is by far the biggest fight so far.

"I'm confident I'll go out there and beat this guy."

Santos, 33, has had nine fights in the UFC but has lost his last two.

Marshman says he is aiming to be in the top 15 himself by the end of the year and beating Santos would be a crucial step along the way.

"This is a momentum fight. I beat this guy and I've just beaten someone who was ranked 15th," he said.

"It's really going to step me forward. I feel I've got the measure of him and I can't see how I'm going to lose."

The former soldier says some pubs in his home town of Abertillery staying open late so people can watch his fight which is scheduled for midnight in the UK.

"The amount of support I get in Wales is unreal," he said.

"They like to see someone from small areas that have never really had anything and I think they're enjoying my journey as much as I am."