“I went out to do camp with Eryk Anders and Walt Harris and Chris Connelly and I love their camp, I love their gym and everything, but it was too far from home,” he said. “And my little nephew was being born.”

It was time to go home to Kansas City. Luckily for him, one of the top gyms in the sport is right in KC, so Marquez made a call to head coach and fellow UFC fighter James Krause.

View Marquez’s Athlete Profile

“I contacted him and they had some training classes going on – super small and safe – so I flew back to Kansas City and stuck with him,” said Marquez, who is more than happy to be back. 

“It’s a whole different world. I was isolated in Vegas. Now Vegas is amazing – there’s a lot of great people out there, there’s a lot of fun stuff; I got to find who I am, I got to introduce myself to a lot of new opportunities. But there’s nothing like being at home, being around the people that you know that care for you, that show that they care for you every day. It’s been a fresh awakening, and the support and encouragement system, I can feel it.”

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The training’s not too bad either, but for the 30-year-old, it goes beyond the nuts and bolts of what he needs to do in an MMA fight. 

“I came out here and I was 250-something pounds at the highest point,” said Marquez, who weighed in at 185 pounds on the nose for his Saturday bout against Maki Pitolo. “They’re always building me up, always trying to help me out. They’re showing that they belong in my life, in my corner and in my world – all of my teammates. From a 125er all the way up to our heaviest person at 230. Every single person – a coach, a new amateur – they’re all in it, they’re all invested, and they all want you to succeed and they show that. Whether you’re hurt or big or out of your element, they’re there to pick you up and make sure you’re in this. They have a winner’s mentality, and it’s infectious.”