Once-beaten heavyweight Ryan Martinez has signed with Bellator Fighting Championships and will debut for the Chicago-based promotion during its upcoming Summer Series.
Promotion officials announced the news Friday, revealing that Martinez will square off against a to-be-named opponent Aug. 24 at Bellator 73. The event airs on MTV2 and will be headlined by a featherweight title confrontation between reigning champion Pat Curran and Season 4 tournament winner Patricio Freire.
Martinez rides a five-fight winning streak into his Bellator debut. The two-time ProElite veteran is Bellator’s second heavyweight signing this week, joining ex-Strikeforce competitor Brett Rogers on the roster of big men gunning for a shot at divisional ruler Cole Konrad.
“Cole Konrad has an unbelievable wrestling base and background, and Brett Rogers has made a name for himself in this sport, but all I see are guys that will be good names to put on my résumé as wins,” Martinez stated in a release. “Nobody is as hungry as I am, and I’m ready to give it 120 percent.”
Martinez fought four times in 2011, capping the year with a unanimous decision victory over former NCAA Division I wrestling champion Mark Ellis at ProElite 2. Most recently, Martinez kicked off 2012 with another victory, outpointing Fiore MMA rep Cody Griffin on Jan. 21.
“The second I heard Bellator had interest in bringing me over, I thought the move was a no-brainer, so everything came together pretty quickly,” said Martinez. “Bellator, without a doubt in my mind, has the hungriest and most exciting fighters in this sport, and I want to be a part of that.”