ryan-martinez-1.jpgRyan Martinez has been locked inside a cage before. But it’s a safe assumption he prefers Bellator’s version to what was previously in his life.

Martinez (8-2 MMA, 1-1 BFC) on Thursday fights Travis Wiuff (68-16 MMA, 4-1 BFC) in a heavyweight bout of Bellator 93's main card. He’ll do it with a clean slate after spending time battling drug addiction, as well as time behind bars.

Bellator 93 takes place at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. The main card, including Martinez vs. Wiuff, airs on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com.

Once he got out of jail and started the next phase of his life, it was MMA that helped set him free.

“Over time, I’ve spent two years in jail, three and a half years in prison and two years on parole,” Martinez told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I basically wasted the whole 20s of my life. It clicked with me when I was in the joint, because I was in there running and lifting every day, so I tried to carry on that mentality when I got out. I got a job as an iron worker and consumed all my time working there and working out. MMA got big in Colorado and a gym popped up where I was working out at, and the first night I went in to train, it ended up being a lifelong thing. I grew addicted to it.”

And Martinez knows something about addiction. He said he was addicted to methamphetamines while also selling – which is what got him locked up.

Martinez had a promising future in wrestling. But his trip down the wrong path started early.

“I had full-ride scholarships to anywhere I wanted to go for wrestling,” he said. “But after wrestling season, I started partying too much and that led to me not finishing high school. I was basically just running the streets and partying, and when I was locked up it gave me a chance to reflect on all the bulls—. I tried to reform myself and come out a better person rather than come out, f— up, and go back.”

After a move from Colorado to Las Vegas, Martinez is training with UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson and Bellator light heavyweight Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal at Jeff Mayweather’s gym. The chance to work with bigger fighters was one he couldn’t pass up on, and he believes that will help him turn the corner.

“I need heavyweights who can punch me so I can react to fighters of that weight,” Martinez said. “That’s why it was the best decision of my career to move down to Vegas. I’m working with some of the top guys in the weight class. Anyone who doesn’t think Roy Nelson is a top 10 heavyweight in the world is crazy, because the dude’s legit. ‘King Mo’ – his wrestling and his striking, despite what happened against Emanuel Newton, is f—ing legit, too. We’ve got a star heavyweight crew that’s always coming in, and I’m just going to use it to my benefit. My standup, my ground, everything. Wherever the fight goes, I’ll be ready.”

The one thing that stands out is Martinez’s experience – a little more than two years and 10 fights – compared to Wiuff’s experience: 13 years and more than 80 fights.

It’s a fact that isn’t lost on Martinez, who knows Wiuff can be dangerous, but also knows a win over him could put him on the map.

“I can’t just name three or four of his top skills – I can name like 10 or 12,” Martinez said. “The only thing I can say is that I hope I can put my hands on him more than he puts his hands on me, and I hope I can take him down more than he takes me down. If I can knock him out, I’m gonna try and knock him out. If I can submit him, I’m gonna try and submit him. But we’re preparing for war here. So whatever happens, happens, and I’m just going to give it 150 percent and get my hand raised at the end of the night.”

After that, he has even bigger plans – plans he probably couldn’t have easily foreseen while he was incarcerated.

“Where do I expect to be in a year or so? I’m going to be the Bellator heavyweight world champ,” Martinez said. “That’s all there is to it.”

For more on Bellator 93, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Ready to Change Her Life, Rebecca Ruth Grasping for Shamrock FC Belt and Bellator Contract

  • 28 days ago

Rebecca Ruth realizes the potential of a Shamrock FC win on Friday night. With a belt and a Bellator contract on the line, it would be life-changing. read news >>

Kimbo Slice returning for Bellator 142: 'Dynamite 1' fan festivities

  • 27 days ago

The popular street brawler turned MMA fighter, fresh off his win over Ken Shamrock in St. Louis, will be taking part in the Bellator 142: 'Dynamite 1' festivities in San Jose. Bellator MMA is offerin read news >>

Bellator releases rules for next week's 'Dynamite' light heavyweight tournament in San Jose

  • 28 days ago

It’s going to be a long night for one Bellator light heavyweight, but one that could lead to gold. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 144: Brennan Ward vs Dennis Olson fight set for Mohegan Sun on Oct. 23

  • 28 days ago

Previously announced for a return to Mohegan Sun Arena -- the place where he knocked out Roger Carroll in July --Brennan Ward has now learned who his opponent will be on Oct. 23, 2015. "Irish" Brenna read news >>

Legendary PRIDE announcer Lenne Hardt joins Bellator: Dynamite event

  • 28 days ago

The voice of PRIDE, "Crazy Pride Lady" Lenne Hardt, is the new addition to the first Bellator: Dynamite event. The promotion announced on Thursday that Hardt, the ring announcer for several MMA promo read news >>

Bellator MMA: Dynamite will feature PRIDE's Lenne Hardt as ring announcer

  • 28 days ago

PRIDE NEVER DIE! Lenne Hardt's legendary voice will be heard on Bellator MMA's biggest ever event. Bellator MMA is going all out to make next Saturday's "Dynamite" show a unique and truly special sho read news >>

Legendary PRIDE announcer Lenne Hardt joins Bellator MMA: 'Dynamite 1' card on Sept. 19

  • 28 days ago

PRIDE Fighting Championships fans rejoice, as the signature voice to fighter intrrrrrrrrrroductions returns on September 19th. It's a little over the top and arguably unnecessary for an already huge read news >>

Bellator Turns to a Sonic Assault to Rekindle Japan’s Heyday of MMA

  • 28 days ago

For those of you old enough to remember, there is an unmistakable voice returning to mixed martial arts. read news >>

'Bellator 142: Dynamite' lands former PRIDE ring announcer Lenne Hardt

  • 28 days ago

Legendary PRIDE and DREAM ring announcer Lenne Hardt will lend her unique voice to Bellator 142: Dynamite. The announcement was made today through a press release issued by the promotion.Filed under: read news >>

Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson rematch now targeted for Bellator 145 in St. Louis

  • 28 days ago

Maybe the third time’s the charm. A repeatedly scrapped heavyweight matchup between Bobby Lashley and James Thompson is now targeted for Bellator 145. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>