Martins was on a good run in Brazil, with only one loss in his
last 11 fights, a span which also saw him capture the Jungle Fight
lightweight title. After his latest defense in March -- a 62-second
stoppage of American Jimmy
Donahue -- the chance to fight abroad again seemed palpable. On
Thursday, Martins’ managers, Alex Davis and Samir Nadaf, confirmed
to Sherdog.com that Martins has signed to compete in the Strikeforce
While still unannounced, Martins is rumored to jump stateside Sept.
29, when he’ll meet Greg Jackson product Isaac
Vallie-Flagg in Sacramento, Calif. In an exclusive interview
with Sherdog.com, the 30-year-old from Manaus, Amazonas, analyzed
his new home’s 155-pound division, discussed preparations for his
debut, and explained why he opted for Strikeforce over the UFC.
Sherdog.com: How is it to be back fighting abroad, and in an
event like Strikeforce?
Adriano Martins: I had fought in
Dream, and now I’m in Strikeforce -- for me, that’s already a
landmark. I will represent Manaus in an event like this. It’s a
long process; it’s been 10 years already. This is a new stage of my
life and I embrace the opportunity.
Sherdog.com: Are you still under contract with Jungle
Martins: No, that ended in March. I won the belt, defended against
Jimmy Donahue, and I would have defended against Neilson
Gomes, but now I’m contracted with Strikeforce. I’m very
grateful to Jungle Fight.
Sherdog.com: Will the training camp for your debut be at Top
Life in Amazonas?
Martins: Yes, it will be done around here. Professor Valdecir Silva
of the Brazilian national team will be the wrestling coach. Boxing
will be with Erminio and Cassio. Jiu-jitsu will be at the gym with
my students. The MMA part will be with [Junior] Cardoso, a guy who
has trained me for a while. We’ll also bring in Moacir [Mendes]
from Porto Alegre to train kickboxing.
Sherdog.com: Have you thought of training wrestling abroad, or
bringing someone to Brazil?
Martins: No, not yet. I’ve trained enough wrestling tin the gym and
I feel good here. We don’t want to change a lot now, since things
have been working well, but maybe in the future we’ll think about
having a camp abroad.
Sherdog.com: How do you see the lightweight division in
Strikeforce? Can you evaluate it?
Martins: I’ve seen a little. I know that Gilbert
Melendez is the champion. I’m going to work to be No. 1, work
to win there. I was in talks with the UFC, but the lightweight
division there is jam-packed. Even Melendez himself isn’t there
yet. They gave me the option to fight in Strikeforce. I’ll do my
duty, seek victory against Isaac and work to get to the top. I’m
happy where I am now.
Sherdog.com: But it’s undeniable that the eyes of the UFC will
be focused on you even more, since Strikeforce is also owned by
Martins: Yes, of course! That’s why we have to work hard there,
because I want the best, and everyone knows that the UFC is the
best. It’s a dream, and I will fight for it.