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MEXICO CITY – UFC middleweight Sam Alvey has fought veteran MMA stars Nate Marquardt and Thales Leites, and managed to keep his inner fanboy in line.

But at UFC Fight Night 114, he fought Rashad Evans, and it got to him.

“A little awestruck,” Alvey told MMAjunkie of the experience following his FS1-televised win over former UFC light heavyweight champion at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City. “I’d never experienced that before. But Rashad is one of those guys that, he’s fighting, I watch.”

As it turned out, Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) watched too much and did too little fighting vs. Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC). He wound up squeaking out a split decision but won no fans in the process. There was no getting around that fact.

“This was going to be that fight where people remember me forever, and I doodled a little bit,” Alvey said.

Alvey felt he’d done enough to secure the fight, or at least his corner had convinced him that was the case. In any event, a win goes on his resume opposite a highly decorated veteran and star of the sport, someone he watched long before he got into fighting.

The question, of course, is whether he’ll get the chance. Evans suffered his fourth straight loss in the octagon and second straight bout since dropping to middleweight. At 37, he’s already on the down slope of his career and has faced issues getting medically cleared to fight.

Alvey, for one, doesn’t want to see him go.

“I would be devastated if I retired Rashad Evans,” he said. “I want to see him fight. I’m a huge fan of him. I know this fight was a little bit of two counter-strikers trying to counter-strike, but I love watching him move and groove.”

As for what’s next for the “Smiling” guy, he’s going to keep aiming for big names on his resume. Chael Sonnen has the “Legends Ass-kicking Tour” – Alvey’s got the “Vengeance Tour.”

Alvey explained he’s trying to avenge the losses of his longtime coach and training partner Dan Henderson, who retired this past October after a third failed bid to win UFC gold against Michael Bisping.

“It started with Rashad,” Alvey said. “Vitor (Belfort), you’re next. I don’t care where or when. You just tell me where, and I’ll sign the dotted line tomorrow.”

Belfort, of course, knocked out Henderson with a kick in 2013, avenging an earlier decision loss. Belfort was at peak of his testosterone-replacement therapy usage.

Belfort said he wants to create a legend’s league and hinted at retirement. But Alvey wants him to give another young buck a try – and settle a score.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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