Jesus Martinez (8-4) is slated to fight Ryan Contaldi (7-7-1) on the upcoming May 2nd Bellator 188 undercard in Atlantic City. He’s no stranger to the cage — Martinez will be fighting his third time for Bellator MMA. His previous fights were taken on minimal notice.
He spoke with us at SciFighting in regards to his upcoming match:
“Mentally, physically, emotionally I’m great. I am not taking anything away from my opponent but for him to beat me he is going to have to really bring his A game. The last fight I took on short noticed I was worried about gassing out and lots of nuances in my head. This time I am going in there telling myself I belong in there and it’s time to prove that to myself.”
SciFighting: How has your camp been different from previous fight camps?
Martinez: “My camp had to change because my opponent changed to a wrestler. I had to change it up and sharpen up my wrestling. I have been training with the best wrestler in MMA Zach Makovsky (UFC) and one of my students wrestles for Maryland College which is a D1 School so we bring in wrestlers to sharpen up my wrestling technique . I kept the same striking coach.”
SciFighting: Have you been focusing more on nutrition as part of your camp?
Martinez: “Oh yeah, fellow fighter Chris Wing is like the Mike Dolce of the North East he was my brothers nutritionist. I saw all the changes he made to my brothers diet and how his weight cuts went and his hydration. This is my first camp with him and I feel phenomenal my energy level is high. I am 11 days away from the fight, my weight is perfect. Before, during the week of the fight I would I be struggling in the sauna trying to lose weight, but with his help and his knowledge I am the strongest I ever felt.”
SciFighting: Where do you think your strongest in regards to technique?.
Martinez: “Well, I am more well-rounded. I don’t focus straight on stand up or Jiu-jitsu, I try to sharpen all my tools. If someone goes to the ground I depend on my Jiu-jitsu and you know if I stay standing I can defend myself and if he wants to wrestle, I am not a wrestler but I will wrestle as well. I try not to be a one dimensional fighter, I try to sharpen up all my tools and just be well rounded.”
SciFighting: coming off a loss do you feel like you have more to prove?
Martinez: “Both fights I took for Bellator were both short notice, big opportunity and no excuse both were losses. Every time I am in the cage I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone. You know because at the end of the day I don’t care what the critics say — I am the one in there as long as I go in there and I give it 110%, I can live with it. I have four loses against some of the best fighters in the world so if someone wants to criticize me I am ok with it, I have also beat some of the best fighter in the world as well.”
SciFighting: Tell us a little bit about Martinez’s BJJ!
Martinez: “My brother’s the owner and I am the co-owner. It was a rough start, we were left out with nothing and now we have one of the biggest gyms in the city. We have some of the best fighters coming in and out of the gym. It hasn’t been easy, it’s been a journey and it’s a good journey and where we came from people would not expect us to be doing as well, but we have also got lots of support.”
SciFighting: How has MMA changed your life?
Martinez: “It’s changed my life big time, I was pretty hot headed and quick tempered, it gave me discipline. I knew that at any time me exploding that way and being angry I could have hurt someone… been in jail, arrested, locked up… you know, and it gave me a lot of discipline and it brought me and my brother closer together.
We grew up in a tough neighbourhood drugs violence. We didn’t have a lot growing up but my dad busted his ass has giving us what we needed and my parents were always on top of us and never allowed us to get into trouble. He is always in my corner at all my fights.”
Jesus Martinez is a fighter that is consistently evolving in every aspect of his career. His ability to translate hard work into ability is apparent in the cage. This is a fight worth watching as both fighters are surely going to leave it all in the cage.
Martinez says it best stating, “I was living the street life and one day I woke up and I had nothing, I found God and one thing lead to another I am in good place, when I am in a good place I don’t see anyone beating me.”