After going winless over the course of three years, former UFC flyweight Danny Martinez was able to get back on track with a unanimous decision victory over Richie Vaculik at UFC 193 in December.
Martinez felt he had his back to the wall heading into the bout with Vaculik, and did everything he could to secure victory.
“That was the best camp I had in my whole entire 10-year career,” Martinez said to MMAWeekly.com. “I believe it was 12 weeks, and I trained hard, hard, hard; every day I went to the gym and killed myself. I knew it was the last fight on my contract. Win or lose, you never can expect another fight.
“We were setting up for a knockout, but Richie was a tough fighter. When I got that victory by decision, it wasn’t the victory I was looking for, but it is a victory, and you’ve got to take pride getting a victory in the UFC, so I was happy with that.”
In the eight months since the win, Martinez has been constantly working on his game in efforts to return to MMA stronger than before.
“I’m happy with where I’m at right now, the position that I’m in,” he said. “I have no anger towards the UFC or anybody there. I’m excited to get an opportunity to fight for Combate Americas and hopefully fight for a title for them and make them proud.
“I completely changed a lot of my game. I still hit hard, but I even hit harder now that I set it up. I have more feints. I’m adding more technical combinations to my arsenal. You’ll see more of my movement and a more relaxed Danny Martinez.”
For his Combate debut, Martinez (19-7) steps in as a late replacement to take on Benny Vinson (8-3-1) in a 125-pound co-main event in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“He’ll do his part and will probably be coming forward, swinging hard or doing whatever he has to do,” said Martinez of Vinson. “What my job will be is more to set it up and get the clean shots, instead of him getting those clean shots. I’ll be throwing a lot more feints at him and getting in there.
“There’s going to be a knockout for sure. The fans come to see the fight. And the best thing I do in a fight is throw chingasos, and I have excellent hands, so I’m more than happy to fight like that anytime.”
With the ever changing landscape of MMA becoming harder to predict, Martinez will take the opportunities that come his way. One thing he is sure of though is that he will come out with a victory on Aug. 11.
“I’d be dumb to say that I didn’t want to get back into the UFC, that’s for sure, but it’s always fight-by-fight,” Martinez said. “You never know what changes in MMA anymore. Anybody can beat anybody in MMA.
“(Vinson) might come in with heavy hands and catch me, but I’m always ready for that. I’ve been in the cage with some of the best fighters in the world. I’ve gone out and have not been finished, so I know he’s not going to be throwing heavy shots that I haven’t seen before.”