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Brian Marino Returns to the Cage After Seven Years at CES 48 | MMAWeekly.com

It has been eight years since featherweight prospect Brian Marino has entered the cage for a competitive MMA fight, and for good reason.

Over the past several years, Marino has spent time in the US Army, and only was just able to recently pick up his commitment to fighting after his obligations to the military were finished.

“I hoped to be able to still train and still fight, but I ended up in the five years I was in the military being deployed twice, so we were always either training and getting ready for deploying, or actually deployed,” Marino told MMAWeekly.com.

“I got back and took a little bit of time to readjust to being a civilian, and that’s when things settled down and I was able to start training and get a fight.”

Though Marino had hoped to keep up a certain level of MMA training while in the military, the opportunity never arose.

“In the down time we did a little bit of rolling and striking, but not enough to take a fight or anything like that,” said Marino. “I was able to get in some work, but it was not substantial time to train anything like in a fight camp.”

For his first MMA fight since November of 2010, Marino (5-1) will face Jarome Mickle (2-3) in a main card 145-pound bout at CES 48 on Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

“Jerome is a good fighter and is very active,” Marino said. “He likes to stand and bang. He has some reach. I think he’s going to want to stand and bang, and if that’s what he wants to do, that’s what we can do. I am comfortable wherever we go in the fight.

“Not taking anything thing away from him, all respect to Jerome, but I know his strengths and weaknesses, and I’ll exploit the weaknesses in his game to get the W.”

Even though he’s able to pursue fighting on a more consistent basis, Marino doesn’t have any grandiose plans, but rather wants to take each thing as it comes and not look too far ahead.

“It’s one fight at a time, one training session at a time, and see where it goes from here,” said Marino. “This is my first fight with the CES, and coming back here is huge. I’ll take it one fight of the time, keep grinding, put in the hard work, and go from there.”

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