Rad MartinezThis past December was supposed to be the culmination of a long road of hard work for Utah featherweight Rad Martinez.

Having worked his way through two very tough fights in last year’s Bellator 145-pound tournament, Martinez was one fight away from winning it all and earning a shot at a championship, when things went awry.

Martinez’ opponent, Shahbulat Shamhavaev, was forced out of their bout at the last minute, delaying their tournament finals match.

“To be honest, I was frustrated,” said Martinez. “It had been a long couple months preparing for the tournament and the first two fights of the tournament were grueling battles and I was ready to have a culmination. I was down and pretty upset and couldn’t believe it, but it turned out to be a blessing.”

That blessing, as Martinez puts it, is the fact that he has an opportunity now to take the tournament title Thursday night live on Spike TV in his home state of Utah in front of the people who have followed his career from the start.

When asked if fighting in front of his hometown crowd would be added pressure or added motivation, Martinez told MMAWeekly.com, “I feel it’s a little bit of both.

“You’ve got to defend your house and nobody wants to ever lose in front of their family and friends. But I can’t really let myself think too much of that. It’s just another fight and I think in the end it’s going to be more of a motivator.”

Martinez says in the months since the delay, nothing has changed as far as preparation for the fight other than one thing.

“I’m much more healthy,” he said. “Those two bouts I had previously and then fighting the next month is hard for anybody to do, so I feel healed up in my body and not so beat up and exhausted.”

Martinez is looking to use the discrepancy between his and his opponent’s ground games coupled with the fact he’s fighting at an altitude he’s comfortable at to sway the fight in his favor.

“Obviously, if you look at the dynamics of the fight, he’s a world champion kickboxer who wants to stand up with people and knock them out, while I’m a wrestler,” said Martinez. “I feel like my advantage is to take him to the ground and see how he works off his back.

“He’s had quick knockouts in his last couple fights, while I’ve had these long, grueling wars. I train out here, and if you don’t, you get shocked when you come out here. I feel like it’s going to be an advantage and it’s going to work in my favor. I’m going to grind on him and try to make him tired and get a victory.”

Now that he’s so close to achieving a huge milestone in his career, Martinez is keen to remain focused on Thursday night only and leave whatever comes as a result of it for when it’s finally over.

“A lot of big things come with winning this fight, but I’m not trying to think too far ahead of facing this guy Thursday night,” he said. “If I’m lucky enough to get this victory, a lot of good things happen, but right now I’ve got to concentrate on Shahbulat and then see what happens after that.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

After split over Santos, Bellator's undefeated Brent Primus wants big name like Freire

  • 29 days ago
  • 8 views

Brent Primus was this close to seeing the first loss of his pro MMA career this past Friday against Gleristone Santos. But after surviving with a split decision, now he wants a big name like Patricky read news >>

After shutout of Henderson, Coker thinks Bellator's Andrey Koreshkov is in 170's top 3

  • 29 days ago
  • 12 views

After his dominant title defense over former UFC champ Benson Henderson this past Friday, Andrey Koreshkov’s stock took a major upswing.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Benson Henderson's Bellator Debut Lands with a Thud, but There Is a Bright Side

  • 28 days ago
  • 44 views

In every sport with free agency, there are distinct schools of thought regarding its effectiveness. Is it better to pay huge sums of money to someone and risk him losing his edge due to complacency o read news >>

UFC and Bellator Veteran Lavar Johnson Sentenced to Five Years for Domestic Violence

  • 24 days ago
  • 93 views

Former UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce fighter Lavar Johnson was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for domestic violence. read news >>

Bellator Confirms Hit-and-Run Incident that Cost Jordan Parson’s His Leg

  • 23 days ago
  • 209 views

Bellator confirms hit-and-run incident that reportedly forced the amputation of part of Jordan Parsons' right leg. read news >>

Josh Thomson Injury Forces Cancellation of Bellator 154 Bout with Michael Chandler

  • 23 days ago
  • 14 views

The highly anticipated co-main event of “Bellator 154: Davis vs. King Mo” between Josh Thomson and Michael Chandler has been cancelled. read news >>

Kimbo Slice Negotiates Steroid Settlement for Failed Drug Test in Texas

  • 22 days ago
  • 21 views

Kimbo Slice and his camp negotiated a lesser punishment with Texas for his Bellator 149 drug test that revealed steroids in his system. read news >>

Bellator Signs Three-Time All-American Wrestler Jarod Trice

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of three-time All American wrestling prospect Jarod Trice to an exclusive, multi-fight contract. read news >>

Bellator's Jordan Parsons Has Full Leg Amputated After Hit-and-Run Collision

  • 22 days ago
  • 38 views

Jordan Parsons, 25, a fighter competing in Bellator MMA's featherweight division, has lost his entire right leg after falling victim to a hit-and-run vehicle collision early Sunday morning in Florida read news >>

Bellator Fighter Jordan Parsons, 25, Dies Following Hit-and-Run Incident

  • 21 days ago
  • 73 views

Bellator featherweight fighter Jordan Parsons, a victim of a hit-and-run incident on Sunday, passed away on Wednesday. read news >>