Mixed martial arts is one of the most physically taxing sports an athlete can choose to compete in. The physicality of the training process makes entering a fight at 100 percent nearly impossible, so fighters pushing through injures is not unique. But fighting through a torn ACL for half a decade? Well, that makes Alonzo Martinez unique.

After two and a half years away from competition, Martinez is set to return to action at Victory Fighting Championship 43 on Aug. 2 in Ralston, Neb.

Martinez (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Martinez (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

“I feel good. I feel healthy,” Martinez told The MMA Corner. “My knee is better. I’ve been fighting for about five or six years with no ACL in my left knee, and I just never got surgery. Finally, I got the surgery and I feel good. My weight is doing good, my health is good, my training camp is going well and I’m ready to go.”

Sadly, Martinez is an example of what so many struggling up-and-coming fighters have to deal with in their careers: little money and no insurance.

“At the time, I didn’t have insurance,” Martinez said. “I was living in Texas, and I came back for a fight here in Omaha. I was younger, and I was playing tackle football and got it injured. I just never got it fixed. It would give out on me, and I would know for a couple of years and I would know it wasn’t there, but I just got the muscles around my knee stronger just to keep it from giving out on me. I look back on it now and I wish I would have got it [fixed] at the time, but you live and learn.”

Martinez was able to fight through the pain and win bouts, but there is no question that the injury kept him from reaching his full potential in the cage.

“I wanna say ‘Yeah.’ I hope it has,” Martinez said. “It just feels good to finally get it fixed and not have anything holding me back.”

Focused on his return against Will Shutt, Martinez isn’t just thinking about getting a victory.

“Going into this fight, I obviously want to win and I want to work on some things,” Martinez said. “Get that ring rust off and put on a good show for the crowd. Just get in there and work on my game and get better. Every time I step in that cage, I want to get better and work on things.”

Martinez (rear) scores a submission (Jason Broaddus/Sherdog)

Martinez (rear) scores a submission (Jason Broaddus/Sherdog)

At just 30 years of age, Martinez has amassed an incredible 52 professional bouts. It’s been a career with many ups and downs. Now that he is finally healthy, Martinez can utilize that experience to become the best fighter he can be.

“I’m in my prime right now and I plan on fighting,” Martinez said. “I’ve got my little five-year plan going. I plan on getting down to 45 [featherweight] here shortly after these first couple of fights. Just keep winning fights and the sky’s the limit. I just hope some day, in three or four years, that I’m fighting three to four times a year on TV—UFC, Bellator, wherever the sport takes me. I’m just going to go along for the ride and just keep winning, keep training and stay healthy and motivated.”

Even though Martinez was forced from competition for over two years, his passion for the fight game has never faltered.

“I love everything about fighting—getting ready for the fight, training for the fight, eating healthy and staying motivated,” Martinez admitted. “Just want to get a better life. Hopefully, I can get to the top and make a good living for myself and my son. My son is the one motivation for me.”

Alonzo would like to thank all of his coaches at Premier and Visible Impact Fitness. He would also like to thank his family and friends, and especially his sister, Chantel, for always believing in him since day one and his son, Adrian, for giving him the motivation.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.