Alex Martinez confident he can hang with the best of lightweight division heading into 2022 PFL season

It’s a brand new PFL season, which is another opportunity at the $1 million grand prize for Grande Prairie, Alta.’s Alex Martinez.

Martinez (8-2) clashes with UFC veteran Stevie Ray (23-9) in a lightweight contest to kick off the 2022 PFL season on Wednesday night in Arlington, Tex.

There is a certain level of familiarity and compounded confidence for Martinez, 27, from the last PFL season. This wasn’t a bi-product of immersion within PFL’s unique season and playoffs structure but more from the levelling up against international opposition.

“The PFL for sure has its own way of doing things,” said Martinez in an interview with MMA Empire.

“Last year has given me a lot of experience and the way I’m feeling this time is more confident, not because of the fact that I know how PFL runs their stuff but it’s just that I got exposed to a lot of high-level fighters last year. I know how they feel, I know how they run, and I know that I can run with them.”

Since joining the PFL roster, Martinez has shared the cage with Loik Radzhabov and Natan Schulte, two elite and experienced opponents.

Now facing a UFC veteran, Martinez said he has a respect for Ray that’s mindful of his resume and skillset overall. But Martinez is confident he can transfer his galvanized skills to getting the desired result and return to the win column.

“I think, first of all, he’s very experienced. That always helps; experience is really important. As well, he’s just a tough guy. He’s just really tough. His mind is there and he knows how to gameplan well, so I’m sure they’re coming with a game plan for me. Then I’ll have to kind of find ways to work around that, put my composure into the fight and my gameplan into the fight,” said Martinez.

“I think what makes it hard for a fighter like Stevie is he’s a southpaw. We’re not used to training with southpaws as much and then he’s well-rounded. He can go to the ground, he can fight standing. You need to be good everywhere. So yeah, I think he’s a strong guy. He’s a tough guy and I’m really excited for it. I think I have all the tools to beat him. I’m strong too and I’m fast. I’m really looking forward to this fight.”

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