Rad MartinezIt seems that no matter what the challenge, Bellator featherweight tournament finalist Rad Martinez is up for the challenge.

Thought by some to be a longshot to make it to this point, Martinez has done so in strong fashion, beating increasingly difficult opponents on his way to the Dec. 7 tournament championship at Caesers in Atlantic City, N.J.

“I just have one fight left and it’s go big or go home,” said Martinez. “I’ve got to leave it all out there because I know after this fight I can have a little break and take some time away, so now it’s gung-ho and go for the victory and try to win the tournament.”

While he’s excited to have made the finals, Martinez told MMAWeekly.com that he wouldn’t feel a true sense of accomplishment until he gets the win at Bellator 83.

“Especially coming this far, now would be the worst time to lose; getting so close you can taste it,” he said. “I’m happy that I won the first two fights, but there’s no sense of accomplishment yet until I complete the task that I set out to do, which is win the tournament.”

To take the tournament title, Martinez will have to get past his toughest date to yet in world class striker Shahbulat Shamhalaev.

“Obviously, he’s very tough on his feet being a world champion kickboxer,” said Martinez of Shamhalaev. “He hits hard and gets quick knockouts, and even though my hands have improved dramatically of late, I feel my best chance to win is utilize my wrestling and see how he is on the ground.

“He’s had two quick knockouts in the first round, so I’d like to drag it to the later rounds and see if I can impose my will on him and tire him out and grind him out for a victory.”

And if grinding out a victory is what Martinez has to do, he’ll do it, because he knows that getting away from what he does best, no matter how far he’s grown as a fighter, is not the best strategy against Shamhalaev.

“Now is not the time to try to get fancy or try to get crazy,” said Martinez. “Now it’s time to try to win the fight. If I’m down two rounds to none, then maybe it’s time to try something different, but (otherwise) I’m not going to do anything different. Just winning is all I am focused on.”

Regardless if he wins or loses on Dec. 7, this year has been a breakout for Martinez, both personally and professionally. Still, taking the Bellator featherweight tournament and earning a shot at the individual championship next year could make for an even more spectacular 2013.

“Joining with Bellator and picking up a couple good sponsors and putting on a winning streak, it’s been a pretty good year,” said Martinez. “At the same time, if I win this tournament, next year  could shape up to be equally as good, if not better for me and my family.”

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

Related News

Alexander Shlemenko, Bobby Lashley Score Impressive Wins at Bellator 162 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago

Former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko returned to title contention at Bellator 162 on Friday in Memphis, Tenn. read news >>

Bellator 162 highlights: Alexander Shlemenko's crippling liver shot, Bobby Lashley's brutal beatdown

  • 4 days ago

Check out the video highlights from Friday’s action-packed and stoppage-filled Bellator 162 main card.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Bellator 167 gets 2 new main-card additions

  • 4 days ago

Next month’s Bellator 167 card has two new additions.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 167 Adds Two Key Bouts as Main Card Fills Up | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago

Bellator 167 has grown with two key bouts added to the nearly full main card. read news >>

Bobby Lashley, Alexander Shlemenko Ignite Bellator 162 (Fight Highlights) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 days ago

At Bellator 162 on Friday night, Bobby Lashley lived up to his "Dominator" nickname, while Alexander Shlemenko stormed Kendall Grove. read news >>

After missing out on UFC 205, Edson Barboza is waiting for his phone to ring

  • 3 days ago

Edson Barboza has picked up back-to-back wins over big-name lightweights in his most recent outings. Now, his career is in a holding pattern while he waits for the UFC to schedule his next bout.Filed read news >>

Knockout Radio Podcast: Tito Ortiz and Mickey Gall | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 days ago

Join Knockout Radio as Randy Harris and the crew talk with Bellator's Tito Ortiz and Mickey Gall. Plus, they break down all the hottest MMA news! read news >>

UFC 206: Examining Canadian Disenchantment with the Promotion

  • 2 days ago

Rory MacDonald has gone to Bellator. Tom Wright got axed. Georges St-Pierre might never have an organized fight outside of a courtroom again. Canadian fans are outright boycotting an event in the nat read news >>

Chael Sonnen, Tito Ortiz and Bellator's Delightful Comedy of Errors

  • 2 days ago

Chael Sonnen signing with Bellator earlier this year was a big deal. Sure, he’s 39 years old. And, yeah, his last gasp of athletic relevance came more than three years ago when Jon Jones drubbed him read news >>

Bellator 165's Michael Page sends message to Fernando Gonzalez: 'Retire after this'

  • 2 days ago

Michael “Venom” Page is feeling like he might actually get to step into the cage and fight Fernando Gonzalez.Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>