Julian Marquez is looking to pick up right where he left off.

Marquez (7-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who punched his ticket to the UFC with a head kick knockout of Phil Hawes on “Dana White’s Contender Series” in 2017, hasn’t competed in over two years.

After defeating Hawes, Marquez went on to submit Darren Stewart at UFC on FOX 26, before getting edged out by Alessio Di Chirico in July 2018. But a right shoulder injury that Marquez suffered in his past fight put his fighting career in jeopardy.

Marquez tore his latissimus dorsi, which kept him sidelined for over two years. Doctors said he might not be able to return to competition but, after defying the odds, Marquez can’t wait to return this Saturday when he takes on Saparbek Safarov at UFC Fight Night 182.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for the past 28 months, and we were going to have it 25 months in, but we had to push it off,” Marquez told MMA Junkie. “My body is like a (expletive) Greek god right now. I feel amazing, I feel just energetic and I’m ready for Nov. 14. I can’t wait to display what I’ve been working on during my time off, during the time I was doing surgeries and everything, all the stuff I was able to build while not being able to use one arm, so I’m excited.”

Despite coming off a loss, Marquez was riding some momentum, having won five of his past six, with all five wins coming via stoppage. If all goes well on Saturday, he’d like to build off his momentum and make up for lost time by staying active.

Marquez, who hosts his own podcast “Beauty and the Beast” with Kendra Lust, thinks there’s room in the sport for a personality like him, and he’s looking forward to getting back in the spotlight.

“After this fight, if everything goes great, I would love to continue going; I would love to continue being the hype,” Marquez said. “The thing is, the UFC has been missing a Julian Marquez. You guys have been waiting for me to return, you’ve been waiting for my awesome character, you’ve been waiting for me to talk to you guys, and that’s the thing. When I’m in there, I’m electrifying, it’s fun.

“After post-fight interviews, during the interviews, it’s always great, it’s always exciting and it’s always something you’re looking forward to hearing me talk so I want to get in there and get going and go on one of these tears. I’ll take these fights, I’ll keep this going. I just had two years of recovery, and right now I can sit there and take all this damage and take all this punishment on my body because my body has been treated correctly during the time off.”