Suffice to say that Marquez didn’t lock himself up in his room, pull the shades and refuse to be associated with anything MMA related. In fact, he took the opposite route, throwing himself into the sport and its culture in any way possible. 

“Look, this is who I am, this is where I want to be,” he said. “I didn’t move from my lovely home in Kansas City where all my family is, the place that’s the mecca of my heart, I didn’t leave that area to come out here just to be average. I came out here to do what I have to do. I want to be involved in it. I’m doing everything I can to make sure that when life is done fighting, I’ll have something that consistently stays with fighting.” 

Maybe it’s that enthusiasm, dedication and willingness to stay in the public eye while he’s been out that has kept his fan base growing. Simply put, they want to know when Marquez is coming back and has more to do with him than his six knockout wins, finish of Phil Hawes on the first season of the Contender Series and Fight of the Night victory over Darren Stewart in his UFC debut in 2017.

“I think my personality and who I am and what I’m doing to keep myself ahead of the curve is what’s keeping me alive in the fans’ eyes,” said Marquez, who is also respected and liked by his peers for his hospitality when they come to Vegas to use the UFC Performance Institute.

And though his comeback is on hold at the moment, that’s by no fault of his own, so as he stays active in whatever way he can in the current climate, Marquez’ fans can at least take solace in his answer to the question of his return.

“I got the green light and I’m waiting for a date.”

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