Tony Martin: Moving Up To 170 Has Been 'Life Changing'

By Anthony Walker and Matt McNulty Oct 4, 2018

UFC 229 is now available on Amazon Prime.

Tony Martin is one of the rare fighters who aren’t literally sweating it out the week of a fight. Having moved up from lightweight, Martin will continue his run at welterweight on Saturday against Ryan LaFlare at UFC 229, and he claims the change thus far has been life changing.

Fighters such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, who fights in the main event on Saturday night, and countless others struggle to make weight in a way that won’t compromise their performance, but as MMA fans have seen time and time again, fighters missing weight is becoming more and more common. This April, Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight champion Max Holloway couldn’t even cut to lightweight on short notice after attempting to fill in at UFC 223, and was deemed medically unfit to compete.

Martin spoke exclusively with’s Anthony Walker on Thursday and explained the benefits of the move up to welterweight.

“I’m moving up to 170 (pounds), so there’s not much of a weight cut. Outside of camp I’m about 185 lbs, and once I start training hard I’m about 180 lbs to 177 lbs, so it will be an easy cut.”

“I’ll probably cut like two pounds [on the morning of the fight] so I can eat.”

“It’s been amazing [not having to focus on cutting weight]. Being at American Top Team, I’m just getting better everyday instead of focusing on the weight cut. I can work on martial arts without [the distraction of] cutting weight.”

Martin had been cutting upwards of 25 to 30 pounds to make the lightweight limit, going 4-4 in the UFC, before making the move to 170 pounds. Since the move to welterweight in April, Martin has defeated Keita Nakamura. As for his opponent, Martin said he’s seen LaFlare in the buildup to their fight, and maintains the size difference is negligible.

“I don’t think he’s that big, he’s not like this massive welterweight. I think my skill is a lot better than his. He might be a little bit bigger, but I have more tools in my arsenal.”

Martin and LaFlare will open the show as the first fight of UFC 229 on the early prelims, which will air live on UFC Fight Pass.

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