For welterweight Mark Martin, 2020 was hopefully going to build off the success of his 2019, where he won both of his fights, but the year hasn’t turned out as he planned.
At this point in the year Martin would have ideally been riding a four fight winning streak, but due to circumstances beyond his control he hasn’t stepped into the cage for competition at all in 2020.
“I was scheduled to fight in January and the week of the fight (my opponent Aaron Highbaugh) had an elbow injury, so that one was cancelled, then I was scheduled to fight in the LFA (versus Maycon Mendonca) in March and a week before the coronavirus came and that one was cancelled,” Martin told MMAWeekly.com.
After taking a bit of a break due to the coronavirus lockdown, Martin was able to return to training, with some adjustments, and make the most of his down time.
“I took six weeks off from training,” said Martin. “I still ran and stayed in shape, but really with martial arts training I was chilling. At the end of April I started back training, and have been training ever since.
“The gym was closed so I did a lot of stuff in the garage. I put a bag up in the garage, a mat, and I did a lot of stuff on my own. Then we started doing small group training. Like five of us would come in or maybe two, me and my training partner, coach (James) Crouch would come in and we would get work that way.”
This Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Martin (3-1) will take another step up in his career when he makes his promotional debut versus Tony Grant (1-1) in a main card 170-pound bout at LFA 86.
“I think I’ve just got to do my thing; show up, feeling good and healthy, and I think everything else will take care of itself,” Martin said. “I’m pretty well-rounded now. Most people know me as a wrestler, but I can strike a little bit and grapple a little bit too. I think I’ll show that in this fight.”
With many things still up in the air about the state of the pandemic, approaching things with cautious optimism may be the way to go, which is how Martin is approaching the remainder of his 2020.
“All you can do is take it a day at a time, a fight at a time,” said Martin. “I’m always training and am always in shape no matter what’s going on in the world.
“I’ll be ready to bounce back right after this one; especially if I don’t take too much damage (in this fight), I’ll be ready to go in August or September. Hopefully I can stay busy. I’d like to fight four or five times in a year if I can.”