Rad Martinez Signs with Bellator, Joins Featherweight Division

By Mike Whitman Jul 7, 2011
Rising prospect Radley Martinez has inked a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships, the Chicago-based promotion announced Thursday.

A former NCAA wrestling All-American, Martinez (Pictured) was featured on a June 3 episode of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” which profiled the fighter’s battle to fulfill his duty as primary caretaker to his disabled father while pursuing a career as a mixed martial artist.

Martinez’s father, Richard, was seriously injured in a car accident when “Rad” was only 12, suffering brain damage in the collision. Martinez’s grandmother took care of Richard until her death, at which point Rad assumed her responsibilities.

Martinez began wrestling at age 14, and the young athlete was soon grappling alongside current UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar while attending Pennsylvania’s Clarion University. After Martinez’s wrestling career ended, it was Edgar who nudged him toward a career in MMA.

Frankie Edgar is definitely the one that talked me into giving MMA a shot,” Martinez stated in an official Bellator release. “Every day, he was always telling me how good I would be at MMA and how much I would love it, and eventually he just ended up talking me into it.”

Since beginning his fighting career in 2008, Martinez has only lost twice. Most recently, the fighter had an eight-fight winning streak snapped by UFC veteran Brian Cobb in May, the first stoppage loss in Martinez’s 11 professional fights. Now, the Utah-based fighter has his sights set on Bellator’s featherweight division in 2011.

“I’ve always had confidence in my ability and felt like I could compete with anybody in the world, but when you’re talking about guys like Joe Warren, Patricio ‘Pitbull’ [Freire] and Marlon Sandro in the Bellator featherweight division, you’re talking about three of the absolute best featherweights in the world,” said Martinez. “I’m just really looking forward to being able to test myself against that elite level of competition.”
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