Atlas Fights 54 brought about the much anticipated return of combat sports on the Gulf Coast in spectacular fashion! In spite of the great difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, fighter, fan and staff safety were held to the utmost regard, and 8 mixed martial arts bouts rocked the cage, reverberating the echos of a return to some piece of normalcy. Atlas Fights looks to repeat that success with Atlas Fights 55, Saturday August 22nd, from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. As usual, Atlas has put together a stud of a fight card, culminating in two title fights (the Atlas Fights Amateur Flyweight title and the Atlas Fights Professional Welterweight title).
Fighting out of Lake Charles, Donzeill Marshall is 4-0, and he is currently the #1 ranked Flyweight amateur in the state of Louisiana. Next Saturday night, Donzeill will take on Gladiators’ Joshua “Flash” Langley for the Atlas Fights Amateur Flyweight title. We caught up with Donzeill and asked him a few questions about his young career and his upcoming fight.
Every superhero has an origin story. What’s yours? Where do you come from? What got you into fighting?
I come from Columbia, Missouri, and I have 2 brothers and one sister. I never wanted to be a fighter, I just wanted to be a veterinarian. But, what made me want to learn how to fight was a video game on the PlayStation 2. I always picked this girl character and I saw she did kick boxing, but when I clicked triangle she switched to Muay Thai. I always wanted to do kick boxing, so me and my older brother started boxing when I was 7 years old. About 2 years after that I got into Taekwondo . Then I went over to karate for a few months while my dad was teaching me BJJ when I got home from school or training. I’ve also done a little bit of wrestling. Once I got down to Louisiana, I still wanted to be a veterinarian, until I met my best friend Ethan LeBlanc. His cousin is the one who got us to meet because he heard I did MMA. Ethan was just getting into it, so I went to his house on his birthday and we boxed each other. After that, I would go to his house everyday to train and get better.
“The thing I like about fighting the most is the growth. Fighting will show you who you are, and it will make you more confident as a person.”
What’s a typical week like for you?
Mondays, I go to Lake Area Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to learn new stuff or go over other submissions to get them down. Tuesdays, I go to Performance Evolution in Lake Charles for a workout class or Bang Muay Thai. Wednesdays, I head back to Lake Area Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for open mats to work on what we leaned that Monday. Thursdays, I go to Performance Evolution to do Bang Muay Thai and learn how to set head kicks up and hit different angles. Then on Friday I go to Performance Evolution again for some sparring. Saturdays and Sundays I rest, and do it all over again starting on Monday.
Where are you training? Who are you sparring with?
Im training at Performance Evolution in Lake Charles and Lake Area Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also in lake Charles. My sparring or training partners would be Ethan LeBlanc, Patrick Richard, Collin Richard, Austin Soileau, Josh Quayhagen, Grant Forest, and Nicko Commissiong.
What do you like most about fighting?
The thing I like about fighting the most is the growth. Fighting will show you who you are, and it will make you more confident as a person.
What do you feel is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength is my mindset because i don’t let anything get to me and if i put my mind to it i will get it done no matter what.
What was it like the first time that you stepped into the cage? What was going through your mind?
I was nervous a few hours before my 1st fight, but once I got into the cage all of it went away. I honestly don’t think about anything when I fight, I’m not worried about winning or losing because I know God [got] me. So I leave everything up to him and all my worries just go away.
“I think he’s got some fast hands and some good kicks, but I think I’m faster.”Marshall on his upcoming fight with Josh Langley.
Who has been your biggest challenge in the cage thus far and why?
My biggest challenge was my 1st fight against Melvin Lopez. It lasted all 3 rounds, and I think it was the 1st or 2nd round, he got me in an arm triangle and I saw the lights going out and (thought) I was going to tap, but I said I’m just going to go to sleep. But then the round ended. He had some really good take downs and his ground was really good, but after that I made sure I knew how to get out of that submission so I never end up in the hold again.
You’re 4-0 as an amateur and your last 3 fights didn’t make it out of the first round. What do you think you’ve got that is helping you to get these quick finishes?
I believe it’s God, (he) gave me this gift of fighting. But I won’t let it go to my head, so I train even harder than my opponent so I know I’m ready. If I’m running I think to myself ‘he is running 2 or 3 miles’ (so) then I go twice as much! But what also helps is my team, they push me to become a better fighter.
You’re taking on Joshua Langley on Saturday, August 22nd. Josh already has 8 fights under his belt with 6 wins (4 by way of submission). Without revealing too much, what do you think he brings to this fight, and what have you been doing to prepare?
I’ve just been getting ready for everything. I’m not going to just work on one thing because if I just work on striking and something happens and he can’t fight and I fight a ground guy, then I won’t be prepared for him. I’m not saying something will, but I just gotta be ready for everything he’s going to bring, and I think he’s got some fast hands and some good kicks, but I think I’m faster.
What would winning the Atlas Fights Amateur Flyweight title mean to you?
Honestly, it would be a good win, but it really wouldn’t mean much. Yes I win a belt and I get a win, but it won’t matter (until) I go pro. This is just all a learning experience and I’m just here to put on a show and get better by the day.
You had a very active 2019, but obviously the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed a lot of us down. How have you been staying sane during the quarantine? Has it affected your training at all?
No, I wouldn’t say it affected my training. It kind of helped me train even harder at home and just get my tools better and work on what I know needs to be fixed. I couldn’t do it at the gym, so I had all day to train.
Do you have anything that you’d like to plug? Would you like to shout-out your school/coaches/sponsors?
I wanna give a shout-out to my coaches Josh Quayhagen from Performance Evolution and Daniel Hoffpauir from Lake Area Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
If you liked this article, don’t forget to share, like and subscribe – and go ahead and like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram @fightsportfocus. You can catch Donzeill in his upcoming fight with Joshua Langley at Atlas Fights 55 on Saturday, August 22nd, from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.atlasfights.com/ or http://www.mscoastcoliseum.com.