Welcome to the UFC: Melissa Martinez

Melissa Martinez, UFC 279
Melissa Martinez, UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Back from Paris, France, the UFC hits Las Vegas for UFC 279. Headlined by Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Dias we’ve also got Kevin Holland, Tony Ferguson, Irene Aldana, and more. Well, now we have Diaz vs. Ferguson as the headliner, and Chimaev vs. Holland, but you get the picture. On the prelims Hannah Cifers was supposed to be welcoming Melissa Martinez to the UFC. Now welcoming Martinez will be Elise Reed (5-2, 1-2 UFC).

Melissa “Super Melly” Martinez
Standing at 5’2″
Fighting at 115 lbs (strawweight)
Fighting out of Mexico City, Distrito Federal
Training out of Bonebreakers Team
A pro record of 7-0

How will Martinez fare in the UFC:

Martinez is a nice signing for the UFC but there are a few things to be mentioned. First, Martinez hasn’t fought in almost three years. Second, that last fight she had against Des Yanez, she arguably lost that fight. Super Melly has had some exciting fights and highlight reel knockouts. As nice as that is to see coming from a strawweight, she is doing it against poor competition.

Martinez is solely a striker with a very little ground game. Her offensive grappling is complacent but takedown defense and being off her back are her biggest weaknesses. Getting Martinez down though is a little tough because of her active footwork. Once tracked down the right wrestler will be able to put her down.

Super Melly is kickboxing heavy. Most of her damage is afflicted off her kicks. Even though Martinez throws a lot of single kicks she is never repetitive and always throws something different. She throws traditional kicks to the legs, body, and head but will throw a lot of sidekicks, hook kicks, front kicks, and other flashy kicks as well. Martinez is at her best when she’s warmed up and really putting it together. When she starts putting punches in front and behind kicks it’s extremely tough to slow her down. Martinez in her grove is throwing a lot of volume and is attacking from all angles.

Martinez can be too volume focused and sit in the pocket too long. She can be slowed down in the clinch and limited in tight spaces as shown against Des Yanez. I’ve been scouting Martinez for years and I’ve been high on her. They’re glaring holes but being so young ger future is bright.

How she matches up with Reed:

Reed was someone I saw some potential in coming into the UFC, but that has not been the case thus far. In both her UFC losses she was finished and her only win was more so a mental error in the gameplan of Cory McKenna. The biggest key to victory over Martinez is wrestling. The wrestling ability is there for Reed but she hasn’t attempted one takedown in her UFC career. In terms of output I favor Martinez. Footwork I favor Martinez. Speed I strongly favor Martinez. Martinez is coming off a long layoff so she could look even better or have ring rust. I’m siding with Martinez to win a close decision victory. I believe her activity will be the factor in this fight however.