An inspirational story now has a new chapter.
On the heels of his story being told on ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’, Utah fighter Radley ‘Rad’ Martinez has signed a deal to fight for Bellator Fighting Championships.
Martinez was raised by his grandparents after a car accident left his father brain damaged, ended up as the primary caregiver for his dad and continues in that role to this day.
Martinez never stopped fighting for his dad just like he never stopped competing himself, which landed him a spot at Clarion University in Pennsylvania where he met current UFC champion Frankie Edgar. The two became close friends and now Edgar serves as motivation for Martinez as he started fighting as well.
“Frankie Edgar is definitely the one that talked me into giving MMA a shot,” Martinez said. “Every day he was always telling me how good I would be at MMA and how much I would love it, and eventually he just ended up talking me into it.”
What resulted was a fighter who built a 9-2 record while only having limited time to train because of his commitments caring for his father.
Once ESPN learned of his compelling story they focused their cameras on Martinez and what resulted was a segment called ‘The Promise’. Once Martinez’s story hit the airwaves, everyone was truly inspired by what he was able to accomplish while sacrificing so much to care for his dad.
Now Martinez will have the chance to prove himself on the bigger stage as he had dreamt about for so many years.
He will enter Bellator Fighting Championships as a featherweight and begin competing in their season 5 cycle that kicks off this summer.
“When I step in that cage, and even when I get to go to practice, that’s when the shackles come off. That’s when I’m free to be me, to think about me and what I have to do right now,” Martinez stated.
“I’ve always had confidence in my ability and felt like I could compete with anybody in the world, but when you’re talking about guys like Joe Warren, Patricio Pitbull and Marlon Sandro in the Bellator featherweight division, you’re talking about three of the absolute best featherweights in the world. I’m just really looking forward to being able to test myself against that elite level of competition.”
Martinez is expected to debut for Bellator later this year.