The MMA Corner: What made you decide to leave your lifelong home and pack up everything and move to San Diego to train at Alliance?

Martinez:  Truthfully, I think the same reason that everybody else does it for: to find something better, to do something great.  There was nothing more that I could gain from staying in Tempe other then starting a family or something like that, but as far as my fighting career goes, I needed to make the change if I am truly going to reach my full potential.  I’ve always wanted to be a champion in the UFC and that was not going to happen if I stayed in Tempe, so for me it was a no brainer, either change careers which is not an option or move to a camp that can help make me a champion.  Eventually I might move back home, but for right now this is where I need to be.

The MMA Corner: What is like for you living in the Alliance gym?
Martinez: Really, I am enjoying it.  There are a lot of perks to living in the gym like I don’t have to deal with California traffic to get here.  I get to wake up, eat breakfast, shower and I am ready to train.  I am the first one to practice and I get to get warm up right away, do some extra conditioning that other fighters might not have time to do so really, this is paradise.  Coming from my wrestling background and my dedication to be the best, this is the perfect situation for me.

The MMA Corner: You have fought in a few different weight classes, what made you decide to make the 125lbs division your permanent home?
Martinez: There are some big guys in the 135 division.  I showed up for the WEC on two week’s notice and did not have to cut any weight and I was out of shape and not prepared.  Joseph Benavedez took that fight not because he was better than me, but because he showed up to fight and I didn’t. I did not train for the fight, I did not have any coaches or any type of game plan, because of that I did not have the cardio to push the pace or do anything that I normally would do in a fight.  It was a good learning experience for me because I learned that my natural weight class was 125lbs and I learned what you need to do to be ready to fight on the bigger stage. Before that I was fighting in smaller shows and I did not know what it really took to perform on the big stage.  Benavidez came to the ring with Uriah Faber, who was the champ at the time, and he had trained hard with his camp and he was ready to fight.  So I learned from that experience and now I am training with champions and ready to prove that I can be a champion too.

The MMA Corner: It has been 17 months since your last fight, how are you dealing with that long of a layoff?
Martinez:  Well it is something that I need to do for my career.  Over that time, I have completely rededicated myself to the sport.  I have changed my tools, I have moved to a new camp and I have really refocused on what I have to do to be a fighter.  So I think that the layoff was good for me and will ultimately be a benefit.  I am a completely new person and a new fighter now.

The MMA Corner: Do you feel that you are going to have ring rust coming into this fight?
Martinez:  I don’t think so.  I train in a cage, I spar in the cage and grapple in the cage, so I think that I do enough things inside of a cage to make ring rust a non-factor.  I think that is really a mental issue.  I have 16 fights inside of a cage so I think that I will be ready to go.  Another thing that I did that I think will help me is I cornered Chris Camozzi at UFC 121, so that helped me get rid of some of the nerves associated with coming back to a big fight.  Plus with Chris being such a good friend, I got all of the emotions watching my friend compete, I think that it was good for me to experience that again before my fight.

The MMA Corner:  Now that you are back to being a full time fighter how often do you want to compete?
Martinez: After this fight if the UFC says they want me to fight in January, I will be ready.  I want to fight as often as I am healthy really.  When I first started fighting, I would fight twice a month sometimes but I want to fight as often as I can.

With Martinez’s new found dedication and passion for the sport and his new training camp not only pushing him to be the best he can but showing him how to achieve it also, he now has all of the tools to be one of the elite fighters in his devision.

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.