Prior to signing with Bellator, Rad Martinez was thought to have been a solid up-and-coming prospect in the featherweight division, and as it turns out, he’s been as advertised.

In three fights in the promotion since his debut late last year, Martinez has stepped up against increasingly difficult opposition and earned his way into Friday’s featherweight tournament semifinals.

“Before, when I was in the local scene, I was winning a lot of fights wondering what it would be like to step up into the bigger promotions and face that competition,” said Martinez. “After these three fights, it’s made me feel like I belong and that I’m a pretty good fighter.

“It’s been nice to have this run, and the competition is only going to get better, so I’m looking forward to the challenge and enjoying it.”

Just to get to Friday’s semifinals, Martinez had to overcome the toughest fight of his career against Nazareno Malegarie in October.

“Fighting a guy as experienced as Nazareno is – having 20-something fights – I knew that nobody had stopped him and he would be a tough fight,” said Martinez. “We ended up beating each other up for three rounds and I won a close decision.

“It showed me that I can stand in there and take some damage a little bit and also give out some myself instead of taking the fight to the ground and just work my wrestling. Knowing I can take a punch and beat a guy like that with so much experience gives me a lot of confidence going into this next fight.”

Martinez’s opponent in Hollywood, Fla., this Friday at Bellator 80, Wagnney Fabiano, would seemingly mirror Nazareno. Still, Martinez doesn’t think that while his recent opponents share similar credentials that they will fight him the same way.

“It’s a completely new fight, but at the same time, some of the things that worked for me in the last fight I believe will work for me in this fight,” said Martinez. “This fight going in, we’re thinking he’s going to try to take me down and submit me, but if it turns into a fight like the last one, I’ll be there and ready for a battle like that.

“Wagnney, I believe, is more of a counter fighter and going back and trying to use the perimeter of the cage, so I have to be very aggressive. I also have to be on my toes, because even though I have a strong wrestling background, I’ve got to make sure I don’t get lazy and get caught in a takedown and have the fight go where he wants it.”

With a spot in the finals on the line, it would be understandable if Martinez wanted to lay up a bit in this fight in anticipation of the next, but as he told MMAWeekly.com, he’s not going to forsake the future for the present.

“I absolutely do not look past this fight and forward to the next at all,” he said. “The worst thing I could do would be to try to conserve myself for this fight expecting to make it to the finals, and make a mistake and get beat. So right now it’s only this fight and only after victory do I start thinking about that.”

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest Bellator news and updates.

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

Related News

Bellator tourney winner 'Frodo' Khasbulaev signs with WSOF, promotion seeks opponent

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA Season 8 featherweight tournament winner Magomedrasul Khasbulaev has signed a multi-fight deal with WSOF, and the promotion is now seeking an opponent to face him at June’s WSOF 21 event read news >>

Bellator 138: 'Shamrock vs. Slice' fight card adds two new fights

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

The big "Shamrock vs. "Slice" event just added two new fights with local flavor to enhance the under card. Two more matches for Bellator 138: "Unfinished Business," which will take place inside Scott read news >>

Welcome to the UFC, Bilyal Makhov

  • 25 days ago
  • 0 views

It looks like the UFC is taking a page from Bellator's playbook and picking up an elite MMA prospect before he ever steps foot in a cage. The MMA talent scouting landscape shifted ever so slightly to read news >>

UFC 186: Rampage Jackson rips Bellator in post-fight comments

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

The much litigated cage fighting star had some unfavorable comparisons to make between his current and former employers following his decision win over Fabio Maldonado last night. Following weeks of read news >>

Rampage Jackson Says ‘Bellator Can’t F**k With the UFC’

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

By all appearances, Rampage Jackson is back in a place he feels more comfortable and there’s no comparing his current home to the one he left behind in Bellator. read news >>

'Rampage' Jackson after UFC 186 win: 'Bellator can't f-ck with the UFC'

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

MONTREAL – For ex-UFC champion Quinton Jackson, beating Fabio Maldonado, a man whose name he jokingly mispronounced at every chance, was an added bonus. Just making it to Montreal for UFC 186 was a v read news >>

UFC 186 Rampage Jackson vs Fabio Maldonado full fight video preview

  • 27 days ago
  • 30 views

After some legal drama involving Bellator MMA, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson will return to fight Fabio Maldonado in tonight's (Sat., April 25 read news >>

Michael Page returns to face Rudy Bears at Bellator 140

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

MVP is back. Michael Page, who had to pull out of his fight in February, will return against Rudy Bears at Bellator 140 on July 17 at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, Bellator announced Friday. "Venom" is read news >>

Bellator 140: Michael 'Venom' Page vs. Rudy 'Bad News' Bears booked for July 17

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

The latest addition to Bellator MMA's "Lima vs. Koreshkov" event on July 17th is sterling striker Michael "Venom" Page taking on Strikeforce/Titan FC/Bellator veteran Rudy "Bad News" Bears. Following read news >>