Arlington, TX – Playing spoiler for a debuting opponent with a big name is a feather in the cap of any fighter good enough to pull it off. For PFL lightweight Alex Martinez that meant defeating Stevie Ray via decision at PFL’s 2022 season opener on Wednesday night.
“After two losses you start to think, I’m young, but still you start to think about you know if I belong in this level. Specially coming off the regional ranks into PFL. Coming from two losses I was like ‘Man do I belong at this level?’ should I take a step back and just start from the beginning or what,” Martinez told the media at his post-fight scrum.
Defeating Ray, a man that holds wins against some of the best lightweights in the UFC, made the win even more important for Martinez who himself was riding a two-fight losing streak.
“Dude this is Stevie Ray. He beat big names in the UFC. The guy is tough, tough as they come to be honest. Scottish people are tough. We all know Braveheart (the movie) that’s actually his nickname too. I knew it was going to be tough. The first thing that I talking to myself I was like ‘You know what, I don’t want to get caught with a big left hand.’ But knowing him there’s a good chance I’m going to get caught so mentally I was preparing myself. If it happens I need to be ready for the rebound,” said Martinez.
“There’s a saying ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’ and that’s exactly what happened. We managed to overcome it and came back. We’re here now with the victory and that’s all that matters.”
The emotions began to swell up in Martinez as he spoke on what he’s been through during camp for this fight.
“After earning the victory today it’s really reinvigorating so man I feel great right now. Very emotional. It’s a very emotional moment for me right now.”
Martinez recently became a father to a baby girl, but also lost his father-in-law in late 2021. He detailed the emotions at the scrum.
“I’m just a new father now. Before the fight first thing I did was I took a picture. I need to go fight for my little girl. I dedicated this fight to my father-in-law who just passed away last October. We still are mourning from that loss and going through training camp, putting all those emotions to the side, because you cannot come into the sport with emotions. You have to be cold-minded, cool headed, and yeah I’m very thankful. So if my wife is listening this fight is dedicated to Pops and my little baby girl,” Martinez said.
“It feels good to feel a little bit right now. I can let myself cry a little bit. It feels good. I’ll give myself a week and get back on the horse. Get ready for the next one.”
Watch the full PFL 1 2022 post-fight scrum with Alex Martinez above. More coverage from the event can be found below.