Alex Martinez defeated Clay Collard via split decision in his final 2022 PFL regular season bout on June 17.
Martinez, 28, fighting out of Grande Prairie, Alta., has been making waves among the PFL lightweights this 2022 season and his last victory cemented his place in the upcoming PFL playoffs in a few weeks time.
Although he came away with the victory in the end, Martinez said it did not come easy for him.
“Just his pressure, man. Pressure from the beginning of the fight. I’m the kind of fighter who kind of grows as the fight goes. You guys can kind of see, even in this fight too, as the fight start to go more I open up a little more and get in there. But his pressure was really relentless. From the moment the fight started and it just went on and on and on,” said Martinez in an interview with MMA Empire.
“For a bit there in the first round I felt like I was drowning you know, so I was like holy shit, he’s going to actually finish me. That’s what went through my head. I was like okay, what should I do? What are the strategies that we have worked on? Then I heavily relied on my coaches after that. Just got to a point where mentally I wasn’t there to perform, so I just had to rely on my coaches a lot in order to obtain the victory. Collard is a very, very high-level, volume, pressure fighter. In your face nonstop and you can feel that pressure from the beginning of the bell. He’s a very unique guy. I really enjoyed Collard. We had a good chat right after the fight. He’s a really cool guy. I really admire him.”
Martinez will now face fellow Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the first round of the PFL playoffs on Aug. 5.