Marshall “The Unknown Warrior” Thompson is another fighter representing Evolve Academy at Shogun Fights this weekend. Marshall is an exciting fighter to watch, and is only continues to improve his game. Read more about Marshall as he prepares for this Saturday.
How did you get into the sport of MMA?
I was working at UPS and a guy named Jarrett Brecks started me out in MMA. I didn’t even know MMA existed. At first I wanted to box & someone at work told me that a guy there was a boxer. I went to him and he started teaching me how to box and then he was doing some wrestling on the floor. All I had done a couple years before coming to him was lift weight. Before then I played basketball all of my life. I was the same build but all I was doing was lifting weights so I was a lot bigger. One day we were boxing and after it was over they would wrestle, I didn’t know then but it was Jiu Jitsu, and I thought he’s smaller than me I’ll wrestle him. He ended up choking me pretty fast with his legs LOL. He had gotten me in a triangle, and I didn’t even know what he doing to me. I had never seen Jiu-jitsu or ever heard of MMA in my life and I’m like, “What the hell?”
[We both laugh]
You know what I mean?
I’m competitive so from that point on he started teaching me and we developed a great bond and friendship he is my brother. I had my first fight not even a year later on two week notice. I TKO’ed the guy in the 2nd round with a push front kick and a knee to the head, and that’s it. That’s how I got started.
What is your favorite strike or submission to use in any fight?
To be honest with you, I’m so versed I like everything. Some people will be, “Oh, we thought you were a boxer!” And some other person will say, “Man, I thought you were a Jiu-Jitsu guy!” But there’s not a position I will be in that I don’t feel like I couldn’t submit you in. From chokes, to armbars, to wrist locks, ankle locks, to kimuras. I mean, I like it all. If I can hit you to the body and drop you, I’m happy too. If I can kick or punch you to the head and drop you, I’m happy. I just want to hit you or make you tap.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
This might sound funny but I’m going to be real with you. If I can be anything in this world, I’d be a superhero. Like Wolverine, he’s my favorite or Spiderman, Batman or James Bond or Jason Borne. But Wolverine is my favorite. His personality for one. He’s a cool guy, he speaks what’s on his mind, he doesn’t start anything, but he’s going to keep coming back until he finishes it, no matter what! Same thing with me. I’ve been broken down physically and mentally, but I always come back stronger. It might take me a little while but I always come back stronger. I don’t stop. For me, to be Wolverine. And the only thing better than Wolverine would be to be Jesus. To be able to heal & help people and come back from the dead, and do all those miraculous things. And even doing those things when people are doing horrible things to you, is real strength & character to the point where they don’t even know you notice what they are doing because you are still loving them!
So okay, your two biggest inspirations are Wolverine…and Jesus?
[We both laugh] Yea man, some people think Jesus was weak, but he wasn’t. So yea I’d like Jesus on my team too.
What does it mean to you to be an MMA fighter?
It’s my life. I’ve always been a fighter. My mom told me a year or so ago that I’ve been fighting even before I came into the world. Before she had me she told me that she lost two babies during pregnancy & when she was pregnant with me I had the same complications throughout the whole pregnancy but I had fought the whole way. So with me she had to be on bed rest, I think and had major problems still. And my whole life I’ve been fighting one way or the other whether it be physical or not. I’ve always been fighting just to compete, especially since I was the smallest kid for the longest time. Like, in the 9th grade I was 5’2’’ and 92 pounds.
Yea, so everything I did I had to fight to just do it, and be accepted. I could get into it more but I’m saving that for one of my many books in the future.
You’re books huh? Alright, I’ll keep your secrets for your books.
Yea man, leave me something but I definitely got a lot more stories [Laughs].
What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Well, for one, I know that my strength totally comes from the Lord. Some people will say religious things sometimes just to say, or to just look good. But for me that is the essence of my life, and the whole 9 yards. My whole life, ever since the 4th grade, I took my salvation seriously. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve been through a lot and I know the only way I made it through what I’ve been through is because of him and the strength that he gave me. A lot of people were not expecting me not to turn out the way that I turned out, and you know, but I made it through. I made it through so many things, and he’s always been my strength.
And I know that’s what sets me apart. And it’s not saying that I’ll win everything because of him because I have to put the work in, but I do know that no matter what that win, lose or draw that he’s there with me. That’s the only reason that I fight. I even turned down a full scholarship to a PHD Clinical Psychology program with a stipend to move to Maryland to fight 6 yrs ago, so that I become famous so I could help communities, give back, and spread the word. To spread the word in a real way, and dispel some of the myths. I mean, he’s helped me quite a few times in my life, so for me that’s where my strength comes from. That’s why I keep going forward and keep coming back through any obstacle that’s put in front of me.
If you could have a dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
My dream fight is to win the world title, and it don’t matter who it is. If they got the title, I want the shot. I don’t watch other fighters, I don’t even watch tv at all. I go somewhere & watch big Fights like Anderson Silva but other than that, If I don’t see it going through the news feed on Facebook or unless someone mentions it to me than I don’t see it. I don’t know who most of the famous fighters are and don’t care to, I’ve never been into people or things at all. If the President walked by I wouldn’t look twice he’s just another man.
Your fighting name is “The Unknown Warrior”. How’d you get your name?
Basically I was home and going through a tragedy at that time, and trying to deal with that. Things were happening and I was trying to think of my name and a couple of friends and I came up with “The Unknown Warrior”. Two of my best friends that have and awesome marriage and I hooked them up yrs ago!! There are a lot of people that are known out there, but a lot of people didn’t even know I existed. I’d just be behind the scenes grinding and coaching people. Some of the people that are tearing up the world in Jiu-Jitsu now were the same people I was working with and coaching. Teaching them moves and coaching them in tournaments. Because of obstacles I was facing I was out for three years, and it made me look like I wasn’t there. So really that’s one of the reasons. A lot of people tell me now that I’m going to lose the name because a lot of people know me now, but it’s still two-fold. “Unknown” is also people not seeing where your strength comes from. But it’s going to change again, I can’t tell you now but it’s definitely going to change again.
Do you have any pre-fight rituals or superstition?
My pre-fight ritual is that I turn very moody & have to pee every couple seconds….
It’s a fight, anyone could lose. So I’m anxious, and I don’t want to lose. I’ve worked too hard to lose. And one superstitious thing I’ve seen is one time before a fight one of the guys before the fight saw a ring girl walk by and he looked at her. He started talking about her, but I was in the zone. I saw him come back all bloody and beat up, and he lost. So I don’t pay attention to women and stuff before a fight.
What’s the first thing you’re going to eat when you’re done?
I always eat Chipotle. Double rice, double black beans, chicken, steak, and cheese. I already know all the meals that I want after that too.
Thanks for the interview Marshall, is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thanks my sponsors Danny Farrar & Soldier Fit, Juan Ponte Max Muscle Columbia, MD please go by there & get good supplements from a certified expert not like at other stores, Goerge Lockhart www.fitnessVt.com the reason I make weight so easily he’s the best on the planet!!,Byron Ezra Well Rounded Warrior..
I definitely want to thank my best friend and First coach Jarrett Becks that started me out from scratch & Best friend Ron Stallings at Top Flight MMA who is there rain sleet or snow. I’d like to thank all the coaches that I’ve had; Master Mike Moses and Evolve Academy; Master Lloyd Irvin; Tom Zurritta; Robert Martin; Gary Russell Sr.; Gary Russell Jr; Bernard Roach, Warrior Gym, Master Danny; Master Odi; Master Roger; J.C. Cuffee; Timothy Woods, Jarett Becks and Ron Stalling have been there for me through some moments I’ve had in my life. Advanced Sports Performance and D’Angelo Kinard has conditioned me for this fight; Rhadi Furgeson. Marcos Avalon, Jeremiah Liddell, Of course friends and family that have helped me along the way. Diana Brooks, Ms. Roselee Irvin two great women!! I’d also like to thank John Rallo & Shogun fights for giving me opportunities to fight as well. , Brian Butler for getting me my 1st shogun fight, Mike Kelly at MMA 3:15 Radio he wrapped my hands the best I have every had last fight, Jerry Cotto, Karen Kotto who are always great friends & supporters, Dexter Gould, Chris Shindler, Leslie Milton, James Lions, Ronnie Crudup, Andrea Crudup, Vince Gordon, Dr. Keith Hudson, Last two but not least Keisha Hall PT in MD, & Tullous Chiropractic in MS without there help I would not be fighting at all!! Even though I can’t yet afford to pay the $500 I still owe them I will as soon as I can! If I forgot someone please forgive me charge it to my brain & not my heart I’m cutting weight! LOL