Now in control of his own destiny, Anthony Rocco Martin is fighting out his deal at UFC 250.
Martin lucked out in a way ahead of the event. While the coronavirus has been devastating, the pandemic scuttled a planned fight with David Zawada. That left Martin in need of an opponent, and he landed Neil Magny — unquestionably a bigger name.
Leading into their welterweight bout, Martin has called it his biggest opportunity. But there’s another reason that the pressure is on, he told Cageside Press at Thursday’s UFC 250 virtual media day.
“It’s also my last fight my contract, so everything is on the line for this fight,” he revealed. That said, Martin explained, he puts pressure on himself to win, and perform at the best of his ability, for every fight. “So I think that I wouldn’t say added pressure. It’s more of just added motivation.”
It’s a lot easier going into the fight knowing he’s done everything right leading up to it, Martin added. “I’ve been in training camp for about 14, 15 weeks. I’ve had like five or six different fight dates. Opponent changes. You don’t know where you’re fighting, how you’re fighting. So everything is kind of different for this fight, but I’m a fighter. I’m gonna get out there and fight anyone. And I think it’s a great opportunity.”
The contract situation gives Martin control of his own destiny, he went on to explain.
“I haven’t had any talks prior to this about re-signing. I don’t know if the pandemic played into it a little bit, or what exactly is happening,” he revealed. “But this is my opportunity to show the UFC and show the world that this is an opportunity for me to win this fight and break into the top 15. And kind of be in control of my own destiny. I’m in control right now. So I win this and I’m inside the rankings. It definitely helps with going to the negotiation table and be able to negotiate a good quality contract.”
UFC 250 takes place this Saturday, June 6, at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on PPV following prelims on ESPN (TSN in Canada).