When Alex Martinez got the call to call to be in alternate in the PFL Lightweight tournament, the Paraguayan was on a road trip with his wife unaware of the opportunity that would come his way.
“We decided to go on a trip. We borrowed my mother and father in-laws RV,” Martinez told Cageside Press. “I went down to Vancouver. I was mainly training with Kajan Johnson at Tristar Vancouver and then Bibiano Fernandes at Revolution.”
The road trip was initially designed as a way to escape the lockdown of his hometown of Grand Prairie, Alberta. While in Vancouver, he got a call to fill in as an alternate for the 2021 PFL Lightweight tournament. Despite potential interest from LFA and UAE Warriors, Martinez accepted unsure of whether he would be competing in the tournament.
After rushing home to get his medicals completed and paperwork done, Martinez was informed he would step in to face Loik Radzhabov for Johnny Case. Despite not being a household name, Martinez knew felt he was the toughest fighter in the division.
“As an alternate, I was studying the different fighters in the lightweight bracket” said Martinez. “When I saw Radzhabov I said ‘as long as I don’t fight this guy I am good to go’.”
Martinez went on to win the bout via split decision which placed him in third in the PFL standings. In his second bout, Martinez was paired with former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis in the main event.
When asked about the added pressure given the opponent and main event slot, the Paraguayan shrugged off the pressure.
“There is pressure, but the pressure comes from me to myself. The outside doesn’t even bother me right now.”
Alex Martinez will be returning to action on June 10, 2021 when he faces former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis in second round of the PFL lightweight tournament.