Sam Alvey – a.k.a. Smilin’ Sam – already had about 100,000 miles on him when he came to the UFC, with all his time in the minor leagues perfecting his calm under pressure and knack for punching dudes the hell out. That’s probably why, in those earlier Octagon appearances, he racked up those cool knockouts.
But the fact remains that Alvey is no spring chicken. And since we’ve seen him come up short against the more elite dudes of his division, we probably won’t see him fight for any UFC titles. Which is fine. It just begs the question: how long will Smilin’ Sam keep smilin’?
On Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 114, Alvey gets to take on TUF pioneer and former champ Rashad Evans, who’s got twice as much mileage and wear and tear, and is a shadow of his old self. In other words, Alvey’s smile will likely remain intact when the fight is over. Still, ponder what kind of shelf life he has.