Following a loss to start off his 2021 in January, lightweight Jose Martinez returned to action this past July and rebounded with a first round submission win over Shakir McKillip at MCL 1.
Having settled in with a new coaching staff, Martinez feels like he was able to have a good first performance under them with the win on McKillip.
“I was switching between coaches at the time so it was a little difficult, but I feel I did good with my new coaches, and I went out there and got a good easy submission win,” Martinez told MMAWeekly.com.
Combined with his coaching change, Martinez feels like he’s grown from his fight experiences in 2021 to be a much better fighter than he was to start the year.
“I really feel like I’ve improved a lot throughout this whole year,” said Martinez. “I feel like I’ve had a lot of learning experiences through the year.
“Starting from my loss to (Jacob) Rosales to start the year, I feel like my mind’s in a better place now. My situations’ better, my coaching’s better, just overall I feel better about everything.”
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, this Friday, Martinez (12-5) will look to close out his year on a winning streak when he faces Kenny Cross (12-3) in the 155-pound main event of XFC: Young Guns 4.
Kenny Cross expects to make an example of Jose Martinez in XFC: Young Guns 4 main event
“He looks like he’s very explosive and very athletic, so I’ve got to keep the pressure on him and work my game plan and not let him work off of his,” Martinez said of Cross. “I’ve got to close the distance on him, land some bombs, and stay in his face most of the fight.
“I just let (the finish) happen. I’d love to get a quick finish but I’m definitely not going to force the finish. I work my game plan and if the finish happens, it happens; if not then I’m happy to get a decision win.”
With a world of possibilities ahead of him in 2022, Martinez is choosing to keep his mind set on Friday night rather than think too far ahead of himself.
“It’s just one day at a time,” said Martinez. “This sport is unpredictable. Anything can happen. I focus on the task at hand and then just go from there.”
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