Sam AlveyLast year started out strong for middleweight prospect “Smiling” Sam Alvey. Getting finishes in three wins over four fights had him riding high as he entered into The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson.

His experience on the show however, didn’t go as well, as a first-fight exit ended his UFC hopes almost as quickly as they started.

“Outside of The Ultimate Fighter, I thought my year in MMA went very well (in 2012),” said Alvey. “I had a couple big knockouts, quick knockouts, and aside from a little setback where I went down to New Zealand and got robbed by the judges down there, it was a very good year with a lot of great fights.”

Even though his time on TUF didn’t go as he wanted, he told MMAWeekly.com that he plans to use that experience to better himself.

The Ultimate Fighter was an excellent experience and I loved doing it, and if I had the chance, I’d do it again,” he said. “But now that it’s over, I didn’t win the show, I’m going to bounce back stronger than ever.”

For Alvey’s first fight of the year, he couldn’t have possible picked a tougher opponent, as he’ll face MFC middleweight champion Elvis Mutapcic on Friday night live on AXS TV from Edmonton, Canada.

“In my whole career I’ve never said ‘no’ to a fight,” stated Alvey. “Whether they’re one of the best in the world or an up and comer, I’ve said ‘yes’ to everyone. When the MFC offered me this fight against arguably one of the best in the world, I jumped at it.”

Alvey anticipates a stand-up war with Mutapcic, but also feels he’ll be ready should things go to the ground with the training he’s done of late.

“I think we match up very well together,” said Alvey. “We both love striking, and that’s what the fans want to see, they want to see big knockouts. I think the big difference is that he loves kicking, where I’m a boxer. I’m hoping I can counter his kicks and he can’t counter my boxing.

“Working with Dan Henderson and Team Quest and having an Olympic-size boxing ring, I’m very comfortable wrestling in a ring. So, I think my wrestling will be more than enough to take him down and stay on top.”

Looking ahead to 2013, Alvey’s mission is simple: become a champion and put himself firmly on the map as one of the sport’s premier 185-pound fighters.

“Honestly, I want to win this title, and after that I want to defend the title,” said Alvey.

“I want to show the world that losing on The Ultimate Fighter was a fluke. I want to make sure that everyone knows that I’m the real deal and I belong in the Top 10, Top 20 fighters in the world.”

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