Adriano Martins: Pressure and Judo Are the Keys to Defeating Islam Makhachev

Touted by American Kickboxing Academy training partners Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier as the future king of UFC lightweight division, Islam Makhachev has only one loss among his 21 professional fights.

Adriano Martins, the man who defeated Makhachev via TKO at UFC 192 some six years ago, recently accepted an invitation from Chute Boxe leader Diego Lima to join the camp of lightweight champ Charles Oliveira after two years training at American Top Team. Makhachev sees Rafael dos Anjos as an opponent who is capable of derailing the Makhachev hype train when they square off at UFC 267.

"I fought  [Rustam] Khabilov and Makhachev in consecutive fights,” said Martins, who defeated Khabilov by split decision at UFC Fight Night 81. “My camps were based on not allowing them to corner me and, if it happened, using my striking and judo to not let them be comfortable. I believe dos Anjos is a very smart guy who has weapons to neutralize Islam. Pressure and judo are good keys to beating Makhachev.”

If Makhachev does defeat dos Anjos, it could set the Dagestani up for a future title shot. If Oliveira is booked against Makhachev in the near future, Martins plans to make himself available to help prepare the champ for the bout.

"I didn’t meet ‘Do Bronx’ in Sao Paulo, but I´m a big fan of him as a fighter and as a person and I hope to be able to help with his future title defense,” Martins said.

Martins was released from the UFC in 2017 on the heels of back-to-back losses to Leonardo Santos and Kajan Johnso. Now 38 years old, the Brazilian hopes for a chance to compete in Professional Fighters League in a future season.

"I trained a lot with Natan [Schulte, Raush [Manfio], two amazing human beings that deserve every cent they are earning. It would be a dream for me, after 19 years of dedication to the sport, fighting the toughest guys out there to finish my career in PFL and I hope I can make this dream come true,” Martins said.

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