It's taken him a few years to get to where he's wanted to be, but when he got there, he made a statement.
Such could be said about Miletich Fighting Systems welterweight Rory Markham of his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.
Eager to prove himself as one of the most entertaining and viable new talents in the promotion, Markham's step up into the UFC at this past Saturday's Fight Night14 at The Palms let him do exactly what he wanted.
Matched up against a tough Brodie Farber, also making his promotional debut, the two lived up to their words as they stood and traded shots right from the start, with Farber seemingly getting the best of the Chicago native.
But it all turned in the blink of an eye.
Backing up from an onslaught of punches by Farber, Markham unleashed a high kick that immediately saw Farber's body go stiff and fall to the ground. Markham had his spectacular debut and earned the vaunted "Knockout of the Night" bonus, accompanied by a $25,000 check, awarded by UFC President Dana White.
Relaxing after his win from his hotel in Vegas, Markham said this of his highlight reel victory, "I don't think it's really settled in yet.
"It's always the same emotions I always run when I get the victory. It actually takes me a few days to realize something like that's taken place, but I'm thrilled."
While Markham had initially predicted a big possibility of a knockout in the fight, having it actually come to fruition was not something that was planned, it simply happened.
"It's funny how generally that's the way you get them to play out, by not thinking about them," he commented. "I'm just lucky enough that's just how I fight. I'm not sure what my knockout percentage is, but it will come when I'm not really looking for it.
"I always do try to go out there and put on a good show for the fans."
Even with the excitement he generated with his fight and the spectacular fashion in which it ended, Markham is critical of what he did in the match-up.
"I'm not too happy about my performance," he admitted. "I don't like to go out there and get hit as much as I do, but that's just the way I fight. I'm definitely trying to remedy that, but at the same time, it makes for exciting come-from-behind victories."
He is quick to complement his opponent for his part in the fight.
"[Farber's] an excellent competitor," Markham said. "That fight wouldn't have gone down the way it did unless he came out to fight like he did.
"It was his UFC debut too and he brought it. I thank him for competing and making it a fight."
With a memorable first win in the promotion now behind him, Markham intends on taking some time off after his recent quick turn around between fights, with the hopes of making his earlier statements about being included on the UFC 90 card in his native Chicago come true.
"I'm just going to relish the moment and wait for the call," he stated. "I've nothing (signed) as of yet, but it's still a little young, and you'll know as soon as I know -- I promise you that."
With multitude of possibilities for entertaining match-ups in the most stacked division in the UFC, Markham could become the name to watch for the company in the coming year, should he continue to do what comes naturally to him.