Vacations to Mexico have been a rarity in 2020, but for Alex Martinez, this trip is all business.
Grande Prairie, Alta.’s Martinez (6-0) will look to remain undefeated and move one step closer to reaching the UFC when he takes on Christopher Ramirez (7-2) in a lightweight bout at iKON Fighting Federation 4 in San Carlos, Mexico on Friday night.
Although not officially announced, Martinez, 26, was slated to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) this past summer, but ran into Visa issues, causing the fight to fall through.
While it’s evident he’s on the UFC’s radar, Martinez said while he remains hopeful his big show call is coming soon, he isn’t focused on anything but the task at hand.
“I have a lot of hopes in everything, but I don’t really count on anything until I have it in my hands,” said Martinez in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m not really looking past this event, to be honest. I’m not even thinking about the UFC. Of course, I want to be there and I know the chances of me getting there with a victory in this fight will be very close, but at the same time I’m not really thinking about it. I’m just 100 per cent focused on my opponent.”
Martinez was last in action at Brave CF 27 in Oct. 2019, where he secured a second round knockout win over Anas Siraj Mounir.
Martinez said he gained a lot of confidence from that victory, and said he needs to continue having even more confidence in himself moving forward.
“Every single camp, every single training session, every single fight I’m always learning something, and that last fight I learned to just have more confidence in myself,” said Martinez.
“I’m a pretty high-level fighter and I rank up there against a lot of high-level guys. I know what’s going on in this fight game, so I just have to go in with more confidence.”
Martinez not locking himself down
Following his last fight with Brave CF, which was his third for the promotion, Martinez was offered a long-term contract.
But with the vision he has for his MMA career and where he wants to be, Martinez said it didn’t make sense to agree to anything long-term.
“I told them I wanted to get my shot in the UFC. I want to see how far I can go and, of course, the UFC is the main area where you can test your skills,” said Martinez.
“I ended up denying the contract with Brave to re-sign, even though the contract was amazing and they offered me great things. I am where I am right now and working towards the UFC.”
Martinez will now face a talented striker in Ramirez, who holds four wins by way of knockout.
In order to come away victorious over Ramirez, Martinez said it’s going to be important to utilize the skills that have led to his success so far in his career.
“The things I always do the best are my distance, timing, and movement,” said Martinez.
“Hopefully, I’m prepared enough to be able to overwhelm him, like I do with everybody.”