On Sunday, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" shared the heart-wrenching story of Rad Martinez, an aspiring fighter who is also responsible for taking care of his father, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. The story is on the long side, but well worth your time:
Even with all those responsibilities, Martinez has put together a 9-2 record which includes a win over UFC veteran Joe Brammer. Now, Martinez has been signed to fight with Bellator in their featherweight tournament. From the Bellator press release:
"Rad not only has an incredibly uplifting, powerful story, but he's also a fierce competitor who will be a great addition to the Bellator family," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "We're proud to have Rad under the Bellator banner, and expect big things from him inside the Bellator cage."
In the featherweight tournament, Martinez will be in the cage with such fighters as Patricio Pitbull, Pat Curran, Ronnie Mann, and Marlon Sandro. If he wins the tournament, he will face featherweight champ Joe Warren. All of these fighters train full-time, and have been doing so for years.
One of the challenges that Martinez faces is that he doesn't get as much training time as his competitors, which can be downright dangerous� in the cage. Hopefully, Bellator will give Martinez the support he needs before his fight so that he can be as well-prepared as his opponents when he gets in the cage.